Offense picks up the pace at times in 7-1 loss to the Eagles
The Medford Raiders generated some of their best offensive chances of the season’s first week, but three-goal bursts at the start and the finish of Tuesday’s game gave Northland Pines plenty of cushion in its 7-1 win at the Simek Recreation Center. Mallory Schmidt recorded a hat trick for the Eagles, who improved to 3-1. Medford dropped its third straight home game to start the season.
Pines got its first three goals in a span of 4:25 to start the game. Schmidt got an easy one at 1:17 finding a wide open right side of the net off assists by Hannah Castillo and Madison Stebbeds. Madilyn Harris took a centering pass from Halle Koerner and scored goal number two at 3:24. Just 61 seconds later, Megan Ritzer banged a shot off the skates of goalie Saige Duesing and found the back of the net.
After that, however, for the next 30plus minutes, the Raiders hung in and played the Eagles even. Schmidt got her second goal of the opening period at 14:45, picking up a loose puck near center ice, carrying it over the blue line and then beating Duesing low on the glove side.
The Raiders got a couple of odd-skater rushes going though and earned a power play 11:44 into the period. That advantage ended with a hard shot by Delaney Hraby and some pressure at the net. With five seconds left in the period, a puck-handling mistake by Eagle goalie Ashlyn Boxrucker nearly gave Kyla Kennedy a shot.
After Duesing made two saves on breakaways in the first 1:20 of the sec- ond period, a Karli Higgins outlet pass to Kennedy and push to Eryka Seidl led to a point-blank shot for Kennedy that was stopped. Kennedy’s centering pass to Seidl produced a shot and a save and Skylier Krueger, making her season debut, put a solid shot on net from the blue line. Higgins put a shot on goal at the 5:15 mark.
Finally, at 8:43 the Raiders broke through. It started on the defensive end when Kennedy broke up an Eagle pass near the blue line. She scooped up the puck and gave herself a solo breakaway chance. She converted, shooting through the five-hole to make it a 4-1 game.
It stayed that way until Schmidt capped her hat trick by beating Duesing through the five-hole from near the face-off circle to the goalie’s right side 5:23 into the third. Stebbeds had the assist. Two goals in 17 seconds late put it away. Allie Kieffer snuck the puck over Duesing’s left shoulder at 12:02, assisted by Emma Sima. Stebbeds cleaned up a rebound in front of the net at 12:19, assisted by Castillo.
Duesing finished with 43 saves, 35 of which came in the last two periods. She had 17 stops while she and her teammates’ improved defense held Pines scoreless in the second period.
Medford put a season-high 15 shots on goal, five in the first period, six in the second and four in the third. Boxrucker had 14 saves for the Eagles.
Medford had the game’s only power play.
Tonight, Thursday, the Raiders will hit the road for the first time this season, traveling to Antigo for a 7 p.m. face-off against the Northern Edge Co-op. The Edge beat the Raiders 5-1 in the Dec. 7 season opener. The Raiders will visit the strong Somerset Co-op Saturday in a 6 p.m. start. They’ll host a solid Viroqua Co-op Tuesday, also at 6 p.m.
Union 12, Raiders 0
The Raiders nearly got to the end of Thursday’s first period with a scoreless tie, but a three-goal barrage in the last 76 seconds gave the Wisconsin Valley Union momentum and the visitors then cruised to a 12-0 win at the Simek Center. Girls hockey no match for the Union
A six-goal second period put the game away for the Marshfield-based Union, who won their first game after started the season with three losses.
Sara Hopper led the Union with three goals, while Sonia Dissanayake had two. Leah Pavelski was credited with four assists.
A quick-paced first period was headed toward a 0-0 finish when the Union suddenly cracked Medford’s defense with a centering pass from Pavelski that found Hopper on the doorstep. She pushed the puck past Duesing for the game’s first goal with 1:26 left. With 25 seconds left in the period, Gwynn Beversdorf got loose on a breakout and stuffed it through the short, stick side. Just 13 seconds after that, Mya Cullen carried the puck through Medford’s defensive zone and connected on a backhand shot.
The six-goal second period started with Dissanayake scoring off a Pavelski assist at 3:49 and Shelby Tryba scoring on a breakaway just 18 seconds later. Taylor Furgason, Hopper and Dissanayake all scored in a span of 1:56 to make it 8-0 and Paige Bauer’s shot from the right side of the Union’s offensive attack found the net with 52 seconds left in the period.
Pavelski, Ella Beilke and Hopper scored third-period goals with Beilke’s coming on the game’s only power play at 13:53.
Duesing recorded 52 saves in the loss, including 20 in the second period and 21 in the third. Madison Wagner-Durr had three saves for the Union.