MHS skaters bumped twice
The Bluejay hockey team scored a pair of goals in both of last week’s games, but cam out of the losing end to higher-powered squads. D.C. Everest pulled out a 6-2 win on Tuesday and Stevens Point Pacelli prevailed 5-2 on Thursday.
“(It was) frustrating as far as our record goes, but a lot of good things happened out on the ice,” MHS coach Chase Nelson said. “The kids are starting to play with a little more confidence, they are playing loose, and they are starting to do some things that they need to do to win hockey games.”
Pacelli grabbed an early lead but Merrill knotted it 1-1 with 12:04 elapsed when Michael Bauman converted a Austin Burgener/Dylan Heller set-up. The Cardinals pushed it to 4-1 with two quick goals in the second, before MHS pulled within 4-2 on Brian Root’s score (A-Burgener, Heller) at the 7:08 mark. Less than a minute later, Pacelli tallied the final score.
“We came out a little flat in this one,” Nelson said. “They have two nice skaters that move their feet well and have some skill. The kids may have been a little intimidated by them at first. We did get better, as the game went on – at controlling our defensive zone – but we were not able to play a full three periods of hockey again.”
“(Bryce) Broeking was able to make some big saves to keep us close, but their goalie stood on his head also and we had trouble getting the puck into the net. Our first and second line started moving the puck better in the o-zone, which created some opportunities; opportunities that we hope we’ll be able to convert on as the year goes on.”
Teagan Vezina (2 G, 3 A) and Davis Cowden (1 G, 2 A) paced Pacelli.
Saves–MHS–Bryce Broeking 8-11-10–29; SPP–Trent Kollock 6-7-11–26.
The Merrill skaters jumped onto the big ice of Greenheck at D.C. Everest on Tuesday and after a tough first period hung tight with the Evergreens.
Everest took a 4-0 lead in the opening period, but the Bluejay boys didn’t let it pierce their resolve.
“The kids played hard all night tonight, and did a lot of good things in the process,” MHS coach Chase Nelson said. “DC Everest has 13 seniors on their roster, we had 15 skaters suited up tonight. It shows what kind of depth that these other Valley programs have and what we are competing against night-in and night-out. Coach Hauswirth and I are proud of the way that our kids competed the entire night.
“They had a fluke first goal that hit off our defensemen’s shoulder and went in the net, and then they put one in the net as the first period horn was going off to go up 4-0. After the first, we skated to a 2-2 tie the rest of the way. The shots were a little lopsided at 48-8, but we also passed on a few opportunities to get the puck on net and tried for the pretty play instead. Those are some of the kinks that we are still trying to work out. Get the puck to the net and good things can happen.”
Dylan Heller converted a penalty shot to cut it to 4-1 4:09 into the second. The Evergreen scored two more before Heller converted on the power play with 11:05 elapsed in the third.
Saves–MHS–Bryce Broeking 16-15-11–42. DCE–Sam Erickson 2-2-*–4, 1 G; Michael Janke *-*-2–2 1 G.