SPASH boys hockey slips by Rapids

By Michael Kommer
For Central Wisconsin Sports.net

December 6, 2018

Wisconsin Rapids– After the first period of play, it appeared as though the Wisconsin Valley Conference contest between Stevens Point Area Senior High and Wisconsin Rapids was over nearly as fast as it began. After all, the Panthers held a four-goal lead.

But despite being down, the Raiders never backed down, and pulled to within one-goal of forcing overtime, but the early deficit proved to be too much to overcome as SPASH survived for a 7-6 victory Thursday night at the South Wood County Recreation Center.

“We went up early and started the game strong,” said SPASH coach Brandon Busse. “And then we got complacent, and you can’t let teams hang around.”

The first line of the Panthers took it to the Raiders early and often. Barrett Brooks got the scoring started just 23 seconds into the game with assists to Trey Zagrzebski and Dayne Hoyord. In the period, Brooks and Zagrzebski each netted two goals with Jake Minch adding another as the Panthers held a 5-1 lead after the first 17 minutes of play.

For the game, the line of Brooks, Zagrzebski, and Hoyord accounted for 11 points. Brooks led the way with a hat trick while Zagrzebski and Hoyord each tallied a pair of goals, but Zagrzebski led in points, with five on the night.

“You can’t just count on one line- it’s a team game and we need everyone to contribute,” Busse said. “As far as the first line, we have to count on them, but we also have to count on everyone else. As far as everyone else everyone needed to contribute, and we didn’t.”

But with the odds stacked against them, the Raiders cut the deficit to 5-3 halfway through the second period with goals by Andrew Sparks and Colton Flammini, but the Panthers would answer with a pair of goals less than a minute apart to go back up 7-3 heading to the final frame of action.

“We hard to adjust to their speed early,” Rapids coach Pat McDonald said. “We knew they were were fast, but we hadn’t experienced it yet and it took us a while to catch up.”

With time running out, the Raiders got going, and put a major scare into the Panthers. Within a span of seven seconds, the Raiders cut the hole to 7-5 with goals by Cobe Acker and Carson Gunderson. The Raiders added another by Colin Brey at 14:56, but the Raiders just couldn’t net the equalizer.

“It was a good shot in the arm for the guys,” McDonald said. “I think we made some nice adjustments, and we still have a long way to go.”

1

2

3

F

Stevens Point

5

2

0

7

Wisconsin Rapids

1

2

3

6

First Period: 1. SP, Barrett Brooks (Trey Zagrzebski, Dayne Hoyord), :26. 2. SP, Zagrzebski (Brandon Vlcko), 6:25. 3. SP, Brooks (Zagrzebski, Cole Beilke), 7:49 (sh). 4. WR, Cobe Acker (Carson Gunderson), 10:40 (pp). 5. SP, Jake Minch (ua), 13:29. 6. SP, Zagrzebski (Beilke, Austin Conley), 13:57.

Second Period: 7. WR, Andrew Sparks (Michael Olson), 5:33. 8. WR, Colton Flammini (Colton Sanger), 10:55 (sh). 9. SP, Brooks (Hoyord, Zagrzebski), 12:35. 10. SP, Hoyord (Nick Norrgran), 13:31 (sh).

Third Period: 11. WR, Acker (ua), 7:18. 12. WR, Gunderson (Acker), 7:25. 13. WR, Colin Brey (Isaac Evenson, Harley Sanders), 14:46.

Saves: SP, Spencer Wierzba 11-11-5 – 27, Landon Kawleski X-X-4 – 4; WR, 39, Tanner Reany 16-10-X – 26, Trevin Milbauer X-1-12 – 13.

Records: Stevens Point 4-0-0 overall, 2-0-0 WVC, Wisconsin Rapids 1-3-0 overall, 0-2-0 WVC.

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