Waupaca hockey team tops Rhinelander
By Greg Seubert
The Waupaca boys’ hockey team picked up a pair of recent wins over Rhinelander and Black River Falls.
The Comets handed Rhinelander a 6-2 defeat Dec. 3 in a Great Northern Conference matchup at the Waupaca Ice & Expo Center and also defeated Black River Falls Nov. 29 on the road.
Waupaca 6, Rhinelander 2
Cody Rasmussen put the Comets on the board with three seconds remaining in the first period off of an assist from Hunter Smith and Jack Menzies.
The Comets added to their lead with a pair of goals in the second period from Dakota Johnson and Rasmussen. Mitchell Trzebiatowski picked up an assist on Rasmussen’s second goal.
Menzies’ goal midway through the third period off of an assist from Trzebiatowski and Rasmussen gave the Comets a 4-0 lead, but the Hodags got on the board with a goal from Logan Wild.
Max Menzies scored 11 seconds later to make it 5-1, but the Hodags answered a minute later with Cole Spaulding’s goal with 4:48 to go in the game.
Menzies’ second goal with 1:17 remaining off of an assist from Jack Menzies capped the scoring.
“We got in a little penalty trouble (in the third period), but it wasn’t because we were intentionally trying to get them,” coach John Erspamer said. “We were just working really hard and sometimes that happens. The good news is the penalty kill got some work.
“We wanted to make sure that we win the 50-50 pucks all night,” he said. “If it’s a 50-50 puck, we need to win those battles. For the most part, we did tonight.”
Waupaca outscored the Hodags 57-53 and goalie Brett Berens finished with 51 saves.
“He’s played well and he’s showing some confidence,” Erspamer said. “We have some work to do on rebounds and playing the puck when he comes out of the net, but for a sophomore, he’s playing pretty well. We’re really happy with his play.”
Waupaca 3, BRF 1
Jack Menzies scored for Waupaca in the first period and Trzebiatowski and Smith found the net in the third period.
Black River Falls avoided the shutout with Jared McGregor’s goal with 1:15 to go in the game.
Waupaca will travel to Antigo Dec. 6 to begin a four-game stretch on the road that also includes contests with Ashwaubenon, Pacelli and Medford. The team will not play at home until the Comets host Lakeland at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17.