The Waupaca boys’ hockey team was seconds away from picking up its first Great Northern Conference win of the season.
Not so fast.
Northland Pines’ Zachery Kennedy tied the game at 3-3 with six seconds remaining in regulation and teammate Bailey Ramesh scored 2:17 into overtime to give the Eagles a 4-3 win over the Comets Dec. 7 at the Waupaca Expo Center.
The Comets also fell to Appleton United 4-2 Dec. 5, dropped an 8-1 decision Dec. 3 to Wisconsin Rapids and returned home from Brookfield Nov. 30 with a win and a tie.
Northland Pines 4, Waupaca 3 (OT)
WAUPACA – Jared Erickson had a goal and assist, Ben Stone and Frankie Ellingson scored and Austin Erickson had two assists for Waupaca.
“The lows can get low, especially in a game like this,” coach Dave Crisman said. “We just turned the puck over too many times in that last sequence from a 3-2 lead to a 4-3 loss.”
The Eagles outshot the Comets 39-16.
Appleton United 2, Waupaca 2
APPLETON – Trenton Bliss had a hat trick to lead Appleton United to the win.
Bliss came up with the game’s only goal in the first period, but Waupaca’s Elliot Crisman tied the game 2:27 into the second period off of an assist from Ellingson and Jared Erickson.
Appleton United’s Devin Blob found the net eight minutes later and the home team took a 2-1 lead into the third period.
Bliss’ second goal 4:25 into the third period gave Appleton United a 3-1 lead, but Austin Erickson cut the lead in half less than a minute later off of an assist from Jared Erickson and Brandon Bolen. Bliss then sealed the win with 26 seconds to go in the game with his third goal.
Appleton United had a 26-23 advantage in shots on goal and Comet goalie Walker Smith stopped 23 shots.
“It’s not any one thing that happened,” Crisman said. “We certainly had our chances late to get it tied up.”
Wis. Rapids 8, Waupaca 1
WAUPACA – Wisconsin Rapids spoiled the home opener for the Comets Dec. 3.
The Red Raiders scored four goals in the first period and never looked back.
Jared Erickson scored Waupaca’s goal with 2:09 remaining in the first period off of an assist from Smith.
Waupaca 8, WNS Storm 0
BROOKFIELD – Jared Erickson had a hat trick, Austin Erickson added two goals and five assists, Aaron Dahle scored twice and Stone scored a goal Nov. 30.
Smith stopped all 32 shots he faced to get the shutout.
“Another great defensive effort led to a nice offensive attack,” Crisman said. “It took us a period to get our legs going after the tough game against Waukesha, but once we got rolling, everything was working. It was nice to leave Milwaukee 1-0-1 on the season.”
Waupaca 2, Waukesha 2
BROOKFIELD – Jared Erickson scored off of an assist from Stone and Austin Erickson and Ellingson scored off of an assist from Zane Johnson and Jared Erickson Nov. 29.
Smith finished with 35 saves.
“It was a great up and down the ice game by two fast teams,” Crisman said. “Our defensive leadership of Brandon Bolen and Drew Simonson really set the tone for a complete defensive performance. It was also nice to see our defensive newcomers, Ben Stone and Max Menzies, play well. Offensively, we had many opportunities to put the puck in the net, but just could not find the gamewinner late in the game or in overtime.”
Waupaca will hit the road Thursday, Dec. 12, and Saturday, Dec. 14, for conference games with Tomahawk and Rhinelander before returning to the Expo Tuesday, Dec. 17, to host Antigo. All three games will start at 7 p.m.