The Merrill hockey team found its Senior Night celebration a bittersweet one more than the impending loss of their elder statesmen. Wausau East scored the only two goals of the third period to rally from a 2-1 deficit and grab the win between two of the teams with just one Valley win. East improved to 2-7, while Merrill and Marshfield are both 1-7.
“It was a tough one to lose,” MHS assistant Bill Hauswirth said. “We had some trouble toward the end of the game getting the puck out of our end and they were able to score with help from the power play.
“The kids fought all the way to the end and had chances to tie right to the finish but couldn’t get the puck to go. But the kids played as a team and they worked hard.”
East tallied the only goal of the first period, but Merrill struck twice in the second. Brian Root fed a pass through the legs of a defender and Dylan Heller sent it home with 5:49 gone. Heller also netted the second goal, taking an Austin Burgener assist and scoring it just before the tender knocked the goal off the pins with 11:49 elapsed. After a referees conference, MHS was awarded the goal.
But East would notch two goals in the third, with 3:48 and 1:53 remaining, for the win.
Saves–MHS–Stephen Simon 9-14-9–32. WE–Austin Jensen 2-14-7–23.
Possible post-season foe St. Point Pacelli rallied from a 1-0 deficit to win 4-1 at the MARC on Saturday.
“We just can’t seem to beat these guys,” MHS coach Chase Nelson said. “This group of seniors is 0-9 against Pacelli since their freshman year. Despite the record, our coaching staff still feels that we match up well against them. And the way that they playoffs are shaping up, we could meet them again in the first round of playoffs.”
Austin Burgener netted a Brian Root assist just 1:43 into the second period for the edge, but Pacelli tallied two before the end of the frame and two more in the third. Davis Cowden finished with 2 goals and an assist.
“We did not play all that well in this game. We lost a ton of loose puck battles, and we did a ton of chasing around in the defensive zone. We have to play with the mentality that every shift could be your last, and right now we don’t have everyone doing that. One guy works hard, the others just stand around and watch. Hockey is a team game where all players on the ice must be moving and anticipating what is going to happen next.”
Saves–MHS–Bryce Broeking 10-11-17–38; SPP–Trent Kollock 7-6-9–22
D.C. Everest dropped MHS to 1-6 in the Valley with a 5-0 victory at the MARC on Thursday.
“We felt that we matched up okay skill-wise with D.C. Everest,” Nelson said. “We had a couple of opportunities early in the game to get our confidence up, but we were just not able to capitalize on the scoring opportunities. The kids worked hard tonight, but we ran out of gas late in the third and Everest was able to score a couple of power play goals.”
The Evergreens got two goals apiece from Michael Plaza and Bryce Dively.
Saves–MHS–Broeking 23-15-10–48. DCE– Sam Erickson 4-5-4–13.