The Lakeland Union High School boys’ hockey team needed to kill off three power plays in the third period to hold on for a 4-1 win Thursday at Rhinelander. Lakeland built its lead early, something that the Thunderbirds have not done much of this season. “We have had problems starting strong at the beginning of games, so we overcame a hurdle Thursday night, by coming out with energy and focus,” coach Ken Thanig said. “We ended up taking a three-goal lead after one.” Nik Boyer got Lakeland on the board first as he scored a goal at the 3:37 mark with Nathan Kingstad earning the assist. Five minutes later, Jason Anderson added a goal with Bryan Way and Boyer getting the assist. Moments later, Jack Dern added Lakeland’s third goal of the period as he found the back of the net unassisted at the 8:27 mark. Meanwhile, the Lakeland defense was keeping Rhinelander from getting any good looks at the net. “We played close to a complete game tonight and our players did a much better job of getting back defensively,” Thanig said. The result was Lakeland outshooting Rhinelander 10-4 in the first period. In the second, Lakeland would continue to dominate as Rhinelander spent a lot of the frame down a man. The Hodags were called for four penalties in the period but Lakeland could not capitalize. “We controlled the puck in the second period, but were unable to score,” Thanig said. Lakeland did get shots at the net as the Thunderbirds took a 13-2 shot advantage in the period. In the third, Rhinelander collected its first goal at the 2:03 mark. “Rhinelander scored on a defensive zone breakdown which left the player completely uncovered for their first goal,” Thanig said. The Hodags would pull their goalie late in the period and that would lead to Lakeland’s fourth goal of the game. Eric Gibbons scored the goal as Dern and Payton Ertl picked up the assist. Alex Moustakis earned the win in net as he made 13 saves. Lakeland outshot Rhinelander in the game 37-14. The Thunderbirds will return to action Tuesday when they host Tomahawk for a conference battle at the Lakeland Ice Arena. Bryan Rose may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.