The Lakeland boys’ hockey team have found success in their non-conference schedule, winning at a variety of rinks, cities and states. The Thunderbirds did that again Thursday, Jan. 9, defeating Ashland 3-1 on the road.
“It was another very good win against a good opponent,” coach Jake Suter said.
Penalties caught up to the Oredockers early in the game. Ty O’Bey got caught for slashing, leading to a Thunderbird power play. Max Toijala scored on the power play off a pass from Teag Wagner.
Then, Ashland’s Colin Trautt got 10 minutes for game misconduct. Fifteen minutes after his first goal, Toijala scored again on the power play. The Thunderbirds led 2-0 after the first period.
Meanwhile, Collin Guelcher continued to prevent teams from scoring. The Oredockers went on a couple power plays in the first period, but had no goals to show for it. Guelcher finished with 19 saves.
The Oredockers snuck one on the board in the second period. Christian Meierotto scored an even strength goal on passes from O’Bey and Nolan Melek. The goal came 13:34 minutes into the second period.
There were only two penalties in the second period, both on the Oredockers. The Thunderbirds did not score thanks to the Oredocker defense and the goaltending of Zach Morris. The Thunderbirds lead was cut in half — they led 2-1.
The third period was full of penalties, including the first four on the Oredockers. The Oredockers killed them all off and were still down 2-1.
The final three penalties of the period were on the Thunderbirds’ Kyle Schaub. That put the Oredockers in a great chance to tie the game, but the Thunderbirds had different ideas.
Toijala got the hat trick, scoring his third goal of the game, this time a shorthanded goal. The assists went to Tyler Gillich and Tyler Godfrey. That goal iced the game as the Thunderbirds finished it off for the 3-1 win.
“We were missing several key players to the flu, but the kids that were able to play battled hard and earned a very big win for our team,” Suter said.
Their next game comes tonight at home against Rhinelander starting at 7 p.m.
Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]