RHS improves to 2-0
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
After giving up the opening goal in the first period Tuesday, the Rhinelander High School varsity boys hockey team scored twice in the second period and ended up defeating De Pere, 2-1, in non-conference action at the Rhinelander Ice Arena.
“We started out pretty rough as De Pere really dominated the first 17 minutes of play,” said Hodags head coach MJ Laggis. “We ran around in our own zone out of position and failed to execute any clean breakouts at all….
“We had a fireside chat in the locker room between the first and second (periods), went over system stuff and talked about our intensity level. The second period saw us play a little better.”
De Pere got on the scoreboard 7 minutes into the game on an even-strength goal by Grant Tritabaugh assisted by Matej Soukup and Mason Paul.
After Tritabaugh was penalized for checking from behind early in the second period, RHS tied the game on a power play 6:29 into the period when Cole Spaulding scored assisted by Freddy Wisner and Brandon Kolasa.
“Freddy Wisner started the play with a nice defensive zone effort that led us into an offensive zone opportunity where Spaulding scored,” Laggis said.
The Hodags then tallied what turned out to be the game-winning goal less than 2 minutes later when Harlan Wojtusik scored unassisted.
“We scored again on a backdoor rebound (that was the) first career goal by freshman Harlan Wojtusik,” Laggis said. “Although a freshman, Wojtusik will need to figure into our scoring big time if we are going to be competitive in the (Great Northern Conference).”
RHS goalie Seth Stafford stopped 17 of 18 shots to record the win in net. Jay Wenger made 15 saves in a losing effort in goal for De Pere.
“Seth Stafford played a really strong game in goal and held us together back there,” Laggis said.
The win improved the Hodags’ overall season record to 2-0 going into Saturday’s game at Waupaca.
“We are off to a good start win-wise, but we have to get a whole lot better in a big hurry,” Laggis said.
Hodags 2, De Pere 1
De Pere 1 0 0 – 1
Hodags 0 2 0 – 2