Tough opponents keep Raiders in check in two hockey losses
MEDFORD-RIB LAKE GIRLS HOCKEY
Emily Schafer’s power-play goal with 19 seconds left in the first period gave the home team a brief shot of momentum Monday, but ultimately, the Medford girls hockey team was unable to withstand the offensive pressure Northland Pines put on the Raiders in a 7-1 loss.
The Eagles completed a three-game season sweep on the Raiders’ Senior Night by outshooting them 50-11 and breaking the game open with two goals in a 29-second span late in the second period to turn a 3-1 game into a 5-1 game.
Five different players scored for the Eagles, who improved to 13-4-2 for the season. Medford slipped to 6-14 in varsity contests and now has a big break in its schedule as it prepares for the WIAA post-season.
It took the Raiders over half the first period to finally put a shot on Northland Pines goalie Ashlynn Boxrucker. Conversely, the Raiders were busy on the defensive end, allowing 21 shots in the opening period. They held up well, led by freshman goaltender Saige Duesing, who picked up 19 saves. Madelyn Harris sent a shot that took a bad hop past Duesing at the 2:17 mark. She was assisted by Allison Kieffer. Rachel Beyersdorf got the Eagles’ second goal at 13:22. Shooting with virtually no angle from Duesing’s right side, she was able to ricochet her shot off the Medford netminder and into the net. Lilianne Martin had the assist on Beyersdorf’s goal.
Schafer got the Raiders on the board with a slick move in the waning seconds of the period. On their third power play of the period, Schafer carried the puck to Boxrucker’s right, stopped on a dime and flicked the puck past the Eagle goalie.
Boxrucker stopped the remaining eight shots she faced to collect 10 total saves in the game.
It stayed 2-1 for the majority of the second period. The Eagles finally broke through on a Madison Stebbeds goal at 13:51, assisted by Emma Sima. The crushing goals were delivered at 15:19 by Kia Dalka, assisted by Halle Kerner and Hannah Kramsvogel, and at 15:48 by Stebbeds, assisted by the Eagles’ standout defensemen Grace Wittkopf and Sima.
Wittkopf added a short-handed goal 8:43 into the third period, assisted by Beyersdorf. Dalka finished the scoring with 2:02 left in the game, assisted by Kramsvogel.
Duesing finished with 43 saves. The Raiders were one for five on power plays and successfully killed off their two penalties.
Schafer, Alex Nicks and Kiersten Crass were the three seniors honored during the evening.
The Raiders’ WIAA regional final game will be played either Feb. 20 or 21. They will likely be the seventh seed in a seven-team sectional bracket that includes the defending state champion Fox Cities Stars, perennial power Central Wisconsin Storm, Northland Pines, the Rhinelander-based Northern Edge, the Marshfield-based Wisconsin Valley Union and the Bay Area Ice Bears from the Green Bay area.
Sabers 7, Raiders 0
Medford’s offense was stifled Thursday by the Chippewa Falls-Menomonie Sabers, who limited the Raiders to just six shots on goal and used three goals in each of the first two periods to cruise to a 7-0 win at the Chippewa Area Ice Arena.
The Sabers, who improved to 6-102 with the win, controlled the puck throughout, outshooting the Raiders 53-5 while building their six-goal lead in the first 34 minutes. The Sabers finished with 72 shots on goal.
The constant offense by the home team kept Duesing busy, but she held up well in her third straight start in place of the injured Nicks. Duesing collected 65 saves, the most in a game for either Raider goalie this season.
The Sabres evenly distributed their offensive success as six different players scored goals. Ella Ausman got the first one 9:01 into the game and Sidney Polzin followed 54 seconds later. Abigail Martin’s goal at 11:32 made it 3-0.
Joey Schumacher made it 4-0 at the 6:56 mark of the second period and Alexa Wicklund followed 32 seconds later with a Martin assist. Marley Sterling got the sixth goal with another Martin assist.
Polzin capped the scoring 1:09 into the third period.
Medford did not commit a penalty and had three power-play chances in the loss.