Great Northern Conference wins are starting to add up for the Waupaca boys’ hockey team.
The Comets improved to 3-0 in conference play with a pair of 6-1 wins over Antigo and Tomahawk. Jared Erickson had two goals and an assist Dec. 13 in Antigo, while Caleb Kiesow and Frankie Ellingson each found the net twice Dec. 11 during a win over the Hatchets at the Waupaca Expo Center.
Waupaca 6, Antigo 1
ANTIGO – Beau Ash opened the scoring for Waupaca in the first period off of an assist from Kiesow.
Erickson made it a 2-0 game in the second period, with Alex Librande getting credit for the assist.
The Red Robins cut the lead in half four minutes into the third period on Justen Wegter’s goal, but Waupaca responded with unanswered goals from Kiesow, Erickson, Austin Erickson and Aaron Dahle.
Waupaca 6, Tomahawk 1
WAUPACA – Three unanswered goals in the third period and a 44-27 advantage on shots helped the Comets bury the Hatchets.
“We talked in the pregame a little about how many shots are missing the net,” coach Dave Crisman said. “Tonight, we probably had 20. We could’ve had double-digit goals tonight.”
Each team scored in the first period, with Tomahawk’s goal coming from Alex Ungerer off of an assist from Matt Parker.
It turned out to be the only goal that Comet goalie Walker Smith allowed, as he finished with 26 saves.
“The puck came out high on the top over by the bench,” Crisman said. “We just didn’t get a clean breakout pass and gave it back to them. That started that whole goal process.
“The types of saves Walker is making are the ones that we know he can make,” he added. “He’s a skilled kid and he’s confident. If we can get him that protection, that’s just going to help us.”
Besides two goals from Kiesow and Ellingson, Waupaca also had scores from Jared Erickson and Ben Stone. Jared Erickson and Ryan Thern added a pair of assists, while Dahle, Stone and Austin Erickson had one each.
“We told the guys on the bench that if everybody on our team forechecks like Frankie, there’s no way guys are going to beat us,” Crisman said. “When you see him go full speed up and down the ice, he’s got a big heart. He certainly provides a lot of energy for our club.”
The game got a little rough in the final minutes after the Comets went up 6-1.
“It’s hard because Tomahawk’s been a competitor of ours for years,” Crisman said. “Some of that goes deeper than the coaches being able to step in and say, ‘You know, you guys have to back off.’ The guys are more worried about some of the younger guys getting hurt. We have to work on that for Thursday because we have a good Antigo club. We can’t do a lot of the things that we did here late and get away with a win.”
Waupaca headed to Eagle River Dec. 15 for a GNC matchup with Northland Pines. The Comets will wrap up the 2012 portion of their season by hosting Lakeland at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22.