Posted on

Stauffer’s hat trick sparks Raiders in their first win

Stauffer’s hat trick sparks  Raiders in their first win Stauffer’s hat trick sparks  Raiders in their first win


The Medford hockey team made a long mid-week road trip to Siren Tuesday but it was worth it as the Raiders brought home their first victory of the 2020-21 season, a 5-2 win over the Burnett Blizzard Co-op.

Freshman Austin Stauffer collected his first varsity hat trick and junior goalie Ben Brunner got his first win in net as the Raiders snapped their three-game losing streak to start the season.

The game was rescheduled to Tuesday after being postponed from its original date of Dec. 4.

Stauffer scored three of Medford’s first four goals and fellow freshman Isaac Schaefer added the clincher in the third period to lead the Raiders’ offensive attack.

Stauffer’s first goal came just 1:12 into the game with a Schaefer assist and he tacked on an unassisted goal at the 6:51 mark to give the Raiders a 2-0 lead.

The Blizzard, playing their first game of the season, pulled within 2-1 just 29 seconds into the second period when Chase Lessard found the back of the net aided by assists from Dane Tollander and Will Gerber.

It stayed that way until Raider sophomore Connor Gowey beat Blizzard goalie Garrett Logan at the 13:53 mark with assists from Carter Pernsteiner and another freshman, Kaden Kennedy. Stauffer tacked on his last goal at 15:39, which was unassisted to give the Raiders a 4-1 lead going into the third period.

Schaefer’s goal at 2:20, which was assisted by Pernsteiner, iced it. All the Blizzard could muster after that was a Tollander goal with 1:16 remaining.

Brunner collected 23 saves as Medford outshot the Blizzard 52-25. The Raiders killed off three power plays in the win and were unsuccessful on the only chance they got.

The rise of Medford’s youngsters has been key as the Raiders have been forced to play without key players like seniors and junior Brayden Machon in the early going. Even head coach Galen Searles hasn’t been on the bench the past three games due to a quarantine. Assistant coach Jesse Kreiner has made the calls for the 1-4 Raiders in his absence.

The Raiders will look to keep the momentum tonight, Thursday, in a 7 p.m. Great Northern Conference face-off at Waupaca. Medford has a non-conference game at the Shawano Co-op Tuesday before hosting Northland Pines for the home opener on Dec. 29.

Antigo 6, Medford 0

The Raiders were forced to play their young unit, especially in the forward positions, and were unable to come back from a three-goal first period that put Antigo in control in the Red Robins’ eventual 6-0 win Saturday evening.

This was the first game of the season for the Red Robins, who dealt with their own quarantine issues to start the season. Medford fell to 0-2 in Great Northern Conference play.

The Raiders got the game off to an encouraging start, controlling the puck for much of the first eight minutes and getting a couple of quality shots. Stauffer had a one-on-one opportunity against An- tigo goal tender Aaron Converse at the 3:50 mark, but Converse made the save. Ten seconds later, Stauffer’s rebound off a Colbe Bull shot was denied. Bull put a shot on goal just over seven minutes in that Converse swallowed up.

Antigo struck first at the 8:34 mark when Garrett Husnick skated from the face-off circle to the left of Brunner toward the slot and flipped a wrist shot that beat the Raider junior on his glove side for an unassisted goal.

At 10:17, Paden Michalik shot a perfect pass from his defensive corner to Trevin Walbeck at center ice and Walbeck did the rest, skating in for the breakaway goal. At 12:30, Michalik and Calvin Jansen set up Walbeck for another breakaway. He made a tough shot against the well-positioned Brunner, going top shelf for Antigo’s third goal of the period.

Antigo ended the first period with a 12-6 advantage in shots on goal.

The Robins outshot Medford 7-3 in the second period and extended their lead to 5-0. Jansen carried the puck through neutral ice and sent a pass through the slot that found Husnick’s stick on the doorstep at 2:32. Joe Volpentesta also was credited with an assist. Medford’s only penalty of the game at 10:36 resulted in a goal right off the face-off just four seconds later when Walbeck dropped the puck to Jansen, who buried his shot from just inside the blue line.

Medford’s offense had an active third period with 11 shots but none of them got past Converse, who finished with 20 saves. Pernsteiner and Connor Gowey each put a couple of solid shots on net and Stauffer had one good chance.

Michalik’s shot from just inside the blue line snuck under Brunner’s stick at 12:14 to close the scoring. Volpentesta had the assist.

Brunner finished with 21 saves.

Altoona Co-op 7, Medford 2

The Raiders jumped out to their first lead of the season on Thursday, but the host Altoona Co-op went on a four-goal flurry through the rest of the first period and went on to defeat Medford 7-2 in nonconference play. The Altoona team, which also includes representation from McDonell Central, Eau Claire Regis and Bloomer, scored those four first-period goals in a span of 2:04. Outside of that, the teams played a pretty even game with the scoresheet showing a 29-25 advantage for Medford with shots on goal.

Medford’s top scorers of a year ago combined for their first points of the new season on the team’s opening goal, which came 4:56 into the contest. Colton Gowey got the goal, assisted by Pernsteiner and Kennedy.

Unfortunately, that lead lasted for only 21 seconds as Jackson Jones started the home team’s rally with an assist from Evan Eckes. Just 18 seconds later, Ben Biskupski notched an unassisted goal to give the Altoona Co-op the lead. Sam Knickerbocker made it 3-1 at the 6:03 mark with assists from Bennett Seelen and Drew Goettl. At 7:21, Biskupski scored again, assisted by Cade Struck and Jones.

Both teams put 10 shots on goal in the period. Medford had a 10-6 edge in shots in the second period, but Altoona got the only goal with Zackary Howell lighting the lamp, assisted by Payton Meyer at 3:41.

Stauffer’s unassisted goal 4:12 into the third period pulled the Raiders within 5-2, but the hosts finished things off with goals from Seelen at 12:47 and Evan Gustafson at 14:01.

Brunner finished with 18 saves for the Raiders, while Altoona’s Alex Erickson stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced. Medford had just one third-period penalty for having too many men on the ice. The Raiders were unable to take advantage of five penalties on the hosts, including a late five-minute major.