Tuesday proved to be a historic night for the Merrill-Wausau East coop hockey program as they knocked off Rhinelander in overtime, and in turn carved out the first post-season win in Merrill history.
Wausau-East topped the Jays in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
The Bluejacks drew first blood midway through the first on Tuesday when James Pawlicki fired one into the net with the assistance of Steve Martell and Joe Ladewig.
Senior forward Austin Burgener would have another answer for the Hodags with a solo strike late in the first to set the ‘Jacks up 2-0.
The Hodags landed on the board early in the second and tied it up midway through the third to send the bout into overtime.
The night would prove to be especially memorable for freshman twin brothers Ty and Jake Bailey.
In the early minutes of the overtime period, Ty took a shot for the game winning goal with the assistance of his brother and Christian Matson. His aim would prove true to seal the 3-2 win.
“The guys fought hard,” and overcame some adversity,” comments a proud co-head coach Bill Hauswirth.
“They overcame adversity and were able to pull it off in the overtime period.”
Senior goalie Bryce Broeking once again proved to be a stalwart obstacle, finishing the night with a phenomenal 99.7% save percentage.
The guys return to the ice Thursday facing perennial powerhouse and current 2nd ranked (Wisconsin Prep Hockey Coaches Poll) Wausau-West. Game time is set for 7 PM at the Marathon County Ice Arena.