By Jared Schmeltzer
In last Tuesday’s (Nov. 21) season opener against Stevens Point Pacelli, the Merrill/Wausau East Bluejacks co-op hockey team came up just short, taking a 4-3 loss. The Bluejacks were down by three goals at one point but were able to fight their way back in the game to make it close.
Pacelli gained the upper hand scoring a goal with four minutes to play in the first period. Pacelli went on to extend their lead with a goal early in the second period and another goal with five minutes left in the second period to make the score 3-0. The Bluejacks began their comeback with a goal by James Pawlicki (assisted by Ivan DeBroux and Jon Euting) with only a couple minutes remaining in the period, Pawlicki then scored another goal (assisted by Christian Matson) with only a few seconds left in the second period to make the score 3-2.
The Bluejacks comeback efforts were shot down mid way through the third period with a short handed goal by Pacelli to regain a two goal lead. The Bluejacks didn’t give up however, answering Pacelli’s goal with one of their own by Adam Detert (assisted by James Pawlicki), but it would not be enough as Pacelli took the 4-3 win.
“When we ran our systems and forechecked we gave ourselves chances to score,” comments co-head coach Bill Hauswirth. “They (Pacelli) took advantage of the times we let up and they scored. We had to battle back but we could not get the equalizer.”
James Pawlicki led the way for the Bluejacks offense with two goals and one assist. Eli Moe was in the net for the Bluejacks and piled up 26 saves in the game while allowing four goals.
The Bluejacks will be back on the ice this Friday as they face Tomahawk in their home opener at the Marathon Park Ice Arena at 7 p.m.