Pacelli Cardinals Stay Hot in Ice Hockey
The Stevens Point Pacelli Co-op Hockey team scored early and often in Saturday’s game with the Lakeland Thunderbirds at Ice Hawks Ice Arena, skating to a 7-2 win while keeping the visitors winless on the season.
The Cardinals early four goal burst in the opening period featured some fine individual plays as the Cardinals earned their sixth consecutive win, dating back to early December and moved their season mark to 8-4.
During that stretch, the Pacelli co-op has also scored wins over Merrill, Chequamegon/Phillips, Sparta, Marshfield and Eau Claire North while outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 33-16. Returning to game competition for the first time since December 20, the Cardinals lost little time in scoring in the opening minute to take the early lead as Chris Karch scored with assists going to Luke Yenter and Josh Bandy.
At 4:53 of the first, Jacob Diamond scored for the Cardinals in the power play, this time with Chris Karch on the assist. Then at 7:53, Teagan Vezina hit the net with assist by Davis Cowden to make it 3-0 and Luke Yenter then netted a goal at 16:47 with Karch adding another assist before the early intermission.
In the second period, Davis Cowden gained a score of his own with assist attributed to Isaac Kollock at 14:14 to push the lead to 5-0. Two minutes into the third, Luke Yenter found the net again with assist by Karch as the lead became 6-0.
Lakeland finally broke the scoring drought, gaining goals at 6:26 and 11:30 to narrow the margin to 6-2 before Luke Yenter gained net again with the teams in even strength with assist by Teagan Vezina.
Yenter, a senior winger, had an outstanding afternoon, gaining the ‘hat trick’ in scoring three times to bring his season goals total to a team-leading 15 goals. Chris Karch also had an outstanding afternoon, scoring a goal and recording three assists. Goalie Trent Kollock made 19 saves in gaining the win in goal while the Cardinals put 37 shots on goal as compared to the Thunderbirds’ 21.
Although happy with the win, head coach Rusty Mitch expressed frustration over the nine penalties assessed his squad in a post game radio interview with Scott Krueger. “We just reminded the kids you need to play composed hockey if you’re going to play to your ability.”
The co-op approach combines players from Pacelli with other players from Iola, Amherst, Almond/Bancroft and Assumption high schools; making the team effort stronger and most importantly, giving several of those individuals a place to play as their schools would not have the numbers to support a team on their own.
The Cardinals now host Waupaca (2-5) of the Great Northern Conference on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Ice Hawks Ice Arena and then will travel to Oshkosh (7-4-1) of the Badgerland Conference on Friday night.