Just over a week ago, the Pacelli co-op boys hockey team encountered a heart breaking loss to Rhinelander.
In a rematch Tuesday night, the Cardinals wanted to show that the loss was nothing but a blip on the radar.
Powered by six goals in the third period, Pacelli was able to avenge the loss as they rolled past the Hodags 10-1 in nonconference action at Ice Hawks Arena.
Pacelli was able to avenge a loss to the Hodags on Jan. 7 where the Cardinals held a 5-2 lead heading into the final period before falling 6-5 in overtime.
“We respect our opponents because games can change so quickly,” Pacelli coach Rusty Mitch said. “We were determined to finish tonight, because the last time we played them, we didn’t.”
Holding a 4-1 lead to start the third period, the Cardinals wanted to make a statement.
In addition to proving the earlier loss to the Hodags was a fluke, the game was important for purposes of seeding in the upcoming playoffs, and they wanted to leave little doubt they were the better team.
Pacelli’s six goals over the final 17 minutes turned the semi-close game into a blowout.
Helping spark the offense was the line changes the Cardinals made.
Pacelli switched forwards up, forcing players to play on different lines for the first time all season. The combination of Zach Jensen, Mathew Mitch and Luke Yenter was especially effective.
Jensen, Mitch and Yenter combined to account for three goals and had four assists.
“This was the first time all year that we have all played on the same line,” Yenter said. “But we have played with each other for a while as kids, so it’s not as though we have never played with each other.”
Jensen added, “Being on the same line changed up our styles of play and has made us become a more physical line.”
Early on, Pacelli struggled to put the puck in the net. Despite outshooting Rhinelander 19-4 in the first period, they only held a 1-0 advantage. the Cardinals outshot the Hodags 57-10 for the game.
Besides the line changes, the other energizing factor for Pacelli was the power play. The Cardinals scored three of their first four goals with the man-advantage, while adding a short-handed goal later in the game.
“We were more ready for the game tonight,” Matthew Mitch said. “We thought about the loss to them for a day or so, and it seemed to refocus us.”
First period: 1. P, Luke Yenter (Davis Cowden, Andrew Bauer) 3:13 (pp).
Second period: 2. P, Zach Jensen (Devin Kollock, Mathew Mitch), 7:02; 3. P, Davis Dowden (Teagan Vezina), 9:19 (pp); 4. Jensen (Mitch, D. Kollock), 11:19 (pp); 5. R, Chris Hagen, 15:00 (pp).
Third period: 6. P, Bauer (Donny Sell), 2:04 (sh); 7. P, Davis Cowden (Vezina), 6:37; 8. P, Yenter (Mitch, Jensen), 10:11; 9. P, Sell (Vezina, Bauer), 11:54; 10. P, Joel Oney (Matt Matheny, Deven Durigan), 13:31; 11. P, Vezina (Davis Cowden, Sell), 16:36.
Saves: Pacelli, Joe Fuller 4-2-3–9; Rhinelander, Jacob Arno 18-14-15–47.
Records: Pacelli 6-10-0, Rhinelander 3-11-0.