By Jeremy Ratliff
Merrill-East Bluejack hockey returned to the ice Saturday, playing host to Rhinelander at the MARC.
Ivan DeBroux got the ‘Jacks rolling with a solo goal midway through the first. Austin Burgener (Ast. James Pawlicki and Ben Brown) followed up right away in the second, to set Merrill-East up 2-0.
Momentum would stay in the ‘Jacks favor as Ian Raddatz fired in another goal with the help of Brendan Root.
Joe Ladewig and Burgener combined for another score midway through the second period and following a third period stalemate, the Bluejacks would send the Hodags packing with a 4-0 shutout.
Goalie Austin Jensen finished the day with a flawless 100% save percentage, defending 27 shots on goal.
“This was a good team win,” comments co-head coach Bill Hauswirth. “We took advantage of our opportunities, and were able to keep their opportunities to a minimum.”
Panthers show no mercy
The ‘Jacks wouldn’t fare as well in Thursday’s home bout with Stevens Point at Marathon Park, falling 10-1.
In the wake of a punishing 6-0 effort from Point, Burgener would put Merrill-East on the board midway through the third period with the assistance of Brown. The Panthers answered with another four-goal run to put the game away.
Goalie Bryce Broeking finished the evening with a 45% save percentage, following a flurry of 65 shots on goal.
“SPASH is a good team,” Hauswirth said. “Their depth and speed was hard to keep up with.”
The Bluejacks will sign off on their regular season Tuesday evening when they head to Wisconsin Rapids.