MARINETTE – The M&M Thunder High School hockey team dropped a pair of games against Dodgeville at the Community REC Center on Saturday. Meanwhile the Thunder Bantams took two of three games over the weekend.
The Thunder High School team welcomed Dodgeville to the REC Center on Saturday and dropped both ends of a doubleheader. The Ice Wolves took game one 4-1 and game two 5-2.
“We had a few players out,” coach John Danielak said after a frustrating performance, “but our team had enough players and enough talent to compete better than we did.”
Penalties continued to plague the Thunder as four of the nine goals (44%) allowed on the day came on Dodgeville power plays.
“Part of the reason for my frustration is that we have been doing so much better on penalties,” Danielak said. “Last weekend in Houghton we played so well against two very good teams. We were disciplined without a lot of penalties and the scores reflected that, so I was hopeful that we would build on that this weekend.”
In total, the Thunder committed 19 penalties in the two games while Dodgeville sent players to the box only four times.
“I can’t blame the refs, we just didn’t play well,” Danielak said. “We were extremely undisciplined which led to sloppy penalties and had us five-on-four for a large portion of both games.”
In game one, Dodgeville’s Dalen Rickard started the scoring midway through the first period. Rickard then netted back-to-back power play goals late in the first and early in the second period.
A goal from Brock Lynch made it 4-0 before Corbin Spencer found paydirt for the Thunder in the third period.
After being whistled for 11 penalties in game one, the Thunder were called for eight more infractions in game two.
The two teams played through a scoreless first period, but penalties proved to be costly in the second as Dodgeville’s first two strikes came with a man advantage. Rickard added two more goals in the second period to give his team a 4-0 advantage heading into the final period.
Kennison Boivin and Adam Lemery cut the margin to 4-2 with goals in the third period, but the Ice Wolves capped the scoring in the final minutes of the game.
Niya Patneaude made 27 saves in game one, while Roman Steffeck stopped 30 shots in game two.
While disappointed in the performance against Dodgeville, Danielak remained confident in his team’s ability.
“Again, we are going back north and playing some disciplined U.P. teams,” Danielak said “but it seems like our kids play up to that level better, so I expect us to play well. I’m confident that we will have a couple of kids back and that will make a difference. We will get back on track. We just have to be more consistent as we get closer and closer to State.”
The Thunder will play a pair of games at Sault Ste. Marie on Saturday and two more in Marquette on Sunday.
The Thunder Bantams traveled to Neenah, Wis. On Saturday and defeated Fox Valley in a 7-6 nail-biter, then split a doubleheader with the Green Bay 14U Girls A team at the REC Center on Sunday.
At Fox Valley, the Thunder were in control throughout the game, but could not put the Blades away.
Fox Valley scored first, but Brayden Rounds quickly tied the game for the Thunder.
Blue Haley then netted each of the next four Thunder goals to bring the score to 5-3, but the Blades continued to claw away and cut the margin back to one at 5-4 entering the final period.
Rounds delivered a back-post pass that Chase Nerat converted into a 6-4 lead early in the third, but the Blades immediately got that goal back and later tied the game with just under four minutes to play.
With 2:19 on the clock, Rounds put the Thunder ahead for good, while Ethan King made 19 saves to preserve the win.
On Sunday, coach Tyler Oleson relied heavily on the eight girls on the Thunder roster, and they responded with two very competitive games against strong competition from Green Bay.
In game one, the Thunder got goals from Rounds, Nerat and Chase Linsmeier, but the Bobcats found the net twice in the third period to secure a 4-3 win.
King stopped 20 of the 24 shots he faced in the game-one loss.
In game two, King stonewalled the Bobcats with 14 saves to notch his second shutout of the season.
Meanwhile Courtney Campbell handled the heavy lifting on offense.
Campbell scored off a pass from Haley early in the first period. After a goal from Addy Johnson, Campbell made it 3-0 again with an assist from Haley nine minutes into the game.
Haley notched a first-period playmaker with his third assist, this time on an Avery Waloway goal that pushed the score to 4-0.
Campbell appeared to have completed a hat-trick in the third period, but the puck bounced out of the net before the referee could see it and play continued.
King made six of his 14 saves in the third period to hold the score at 4-0.
Th Bantams will travel to Manitowoc for a pair of games on Sunday.
The Thunder Peewee team dropped a pair of games at Antigo on Saturday. The Robins won with scores of 7-1 and 7-2.
In game one, the lone Thunder goal was scored by Jesse McClarren with an assist from Conner Radtke.
In game two, the Thunder got goals from Chuckie Bird and Dixon Polzin
Jack Aftanas made 30 saves in game one and 37 in game two.
The Peewees will host the Battle at the REC Tournament this Friday through Sunday at the Community REC Center.
The Thunder Squirt C team struggled to gather any offense in a pair of losses to Fox Valley at the REC Center on Saturday, but came back and played two quality games at Manitowoc on Sunday.
The Breakers used a late goal to take Sunday’s first game by a score of 5-4 and then took game two 6-5.
In game one, the Thunder got a first-period goal from Carter Erdman, but trailed 4-1 heading into the final period.
In the third period, Madison Salewski, Holden Ruiz and Sullivan Reek all scored as the Thunder stormed back to tie the contest at 4-4. However, Manitowoc netted the game-winning goal with 3:39 to play.
Lucas Wiltzius made 12 saves in the loss.
In game two, Ruiz got the scoring started for the Thunder. Reek then posted a hat-trick with three consecutive goals and Edman found the net as well, but the Thunder again came up just short at 6-5.
Wiltzius added 14 saves to a strong day in the net.
The Squirt C’s will host the Wisconsin Valley Union Girls team at the REC Center on Sunday.