Trying to get back on a winning streak, the Lakeland boys’ hockey team went on the road for a match.
The Thunderbirds defeated East-Merrill United 4-2.
The Bluejacks scored the only goal of the first period. Jared Heller scored 2:48 into the game off assists by Blake Raddatz and Greg Glovinski.
“We came out of the gates kind of slow,”?explained coach Jake Suter.
Jake Furrer, the Bluejacks’ goalie, recorded a shutout in the first period, making a total of nine saves in the period. He finished the game with 30 total saves.
Lakeland goalie Collin Guelcher allowed just one goal in the period and made seven saves.
“Collin Guelcher kept us in it while the kids found their legs,”?Suter said.
The second period belonged to the Thunderbirds. They scored three goals and did not allow one.
Max Toijala scored the first goal, assisted by Victor Masayesva and Joe Beda two minutes into the period. The game was tied 1-1.
The Thunderbirds took a 2-1 lead on a Tyler Gillich goal, assisted by Tyler Godfrey and Thomas McCumber five minutes later. Like the other one, it was an even goal.
With time waning, the Bluejacks found themselves in a penalty situation. The Thunderbirds capitalized with their third goal of the period. This one came on a power play from Beda, assisted by Toijala and Dylan Wayland.
Guelcher recorded a shutout in the period, making four saves. In total, he had 15 saves on the night.
Both teams scored in the third period. The first came by the Bluejacks four minutes in. Jack Piskula took advantage of a power play opportunity and scored unassisted. They were only down 3-2 now.
The Bluejacks were one goal away from tying the game. They got some help as Lakeland fell into some penalty trouble.
The Thunderbirds fought it off and eventually scored their fourth goal to put the game away. This one came again by Toijala, assisted by Teag Wagner.
The Thunderbirds did a much better job with penalties against the Bluejacks than they did with Rhinelander. Lakeland finished with five penalties and allowed one goal on a power play.
“I’m proud of the boys and excited to get back on the ice and continue to improve,”?Suter said.
Up next, the Thunderbirds host Waupaca Saturday, Dec. 7 at the Lakeland Ice Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m.
Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]