Friday night, the Merrill-East Bluejack varsity hockey co-op played host to Tomahawk at the MARC.
The Hatchets wasted no time in getting to work, mounting a considerable 5-0 lead in the first.
Brendan Root, with the assistance of compadres Ian Raddatz and Max Geiger put the ‘Jacks on the board with a score late in the first period.
Merrill-East capitalized early in the second period with another combined effort from Christian Matson, assisted by Ivan DeBroux and Geiger.
Tomahawk countered almost immediately with another goal to set up a 6-2 lead.
Down but far from out, the Bluejacks kept the sticks swinging with a goal from Raddatz (Ast: Phil Peacy) and another from Austin Burgener (Ast: Ty Bailey) headed into the third period.
Despite a late goal from Bailey (Ast: Jake Bailey and Ben Brown) the Hatchets would persevere in the shootout 8-5.
Goalie Bryce Broeking 8/51 finished the night with a solid 84.4% save percentage; allowing just 8 of 51 shots on goal.
“We just got behind early,” comments co-head coach Bill Hauswirth. “Everything they threw at us did not find the right bounce and went in. We could not overcome the early deficit.”
Tango with the Tigers
Thursday evening, the guys hit the road southbound for a WVC foray with Marshfield.
The Tigers drew first blood right away in the first, countered in just under five minutes by a Bluejack effort from Jake Bailey (Ast: Ty Bailey and Adam Detert).
Unfortunately the kitties would keep the spread open with a pair of goals to close out the first; maintaining a 3-1 lead.
Early in the third period the ‘Jacks would strike again via Matson (Ast: Jake Bailey and Ben Brown).
Marshfield would go on to have the lsat word with a pair of goals to close out the final period and seal the 5-2 win.
Broeking finished the night with an 86.3% save percentage, allowing 4 of 50 shots on goal.
“We fell behind early and could not come back,” adds Hauswirth.
Tuesday night, the Bluejacks squared off with perennial powerhouse Wausau West at Wausau’s Marathon Park; falling 8-0.
Goalie Austin Jensen finished the evening with an 81% save percentage, allowing 8 of 42 shots on goal.
“They are a good team and showed it,” Hauswirth said. “At times we did some good things, but their speed and depth takes its toll.”