Bluejay varsity hockey broke even in their home tournament over the weekend, nearly clawing back in Friday’s game with Sparta in a 5-4 loss and knocking off Medford 4-1 on Saturday.
The Jays drew first blood in Saturday’s bout as Brian Root slammed one in early in the first. The Spartans would answer in overwhelming fashion, embarking on a four-goal scoring frenzy which would finally come to a halt late in the 2nd on a team effort from Root and Austin Burgener, narrowing the gap to 4-2 Sparta.
The Spartans remained steadfast, coming out and putting yet another goal on the board early in the 3rd.
Down but far from out, the Jays came back with a spirited answer of their own in scoring two goals in just over a minute thanks to the work of Brian Root (1g,1a); Joe Ladewig (1a) and Austin Burgener (1g).
Unfortunately, the Jays come up short as time expired.
“We turned it up halfway through the second,” commented head coach Bill Hauswirth.
“But we were not able to overcome their initial lead. We missed some grade “A’ chances in the second and third periods. When we get those we have to finish them.”
SPA: 2 2 1- 5
MER: 1 1 2- 4
By the numbers: Austin Burgener (2g); Brian Root (1g, 3a); Joel Ladewig (1a). Saves- Bryce Broeking- 25.
Robbing the Raiders
Merrill once again landed the first blow in Friday’s dance with Medford.
Just over a minute into the bout, Christian Matson sent the puck true with the help of Taylor Hipke. Then just under five minutes later, the Jays came through again, this time on the blades of Adam Detert and Austin Burgener to take an early 2-0 lead.
Burgener capped off the first period surge with a solo goal.
The Raiders would manage to hold the Merrill sticks quiet through the second period, but Matson, Hipke and Brendan Root made sure that silence was short lived, as they upped the ante to 4-0 with a score midway through the 3rd.
The Raiders’ lone score of the game would come in the waning minutes to bow to the Jays 4-1.
“We got ahead and kept pushing,” Hauswirth added.
“We out-shot them. When we put pucks on the net, good things can happen. It was a nice team win.”
MFD: 0 0 1- 1
MER: 3 0 1- 4
By the numbers: Matson (2g); Burgener (2g); Hipke (2a); Brendan Root (1a). Saves- Broeking – 26.
Rough trip to Rapids
The Jays fell in Thursday’s bout with Wisconsin Rapids 9-0.
“Ran into another tough team,” Hauswirth said. “They did a lot of things well. We showed improvement in the second and third but we have to play with more intensity right from the start.”
MERL: 0 0 0- 0
WRAP: 4 4 1- 9
Saves- Broeking 25, 7 G, Will Schlegel 13, 2 G.