Red Panthers Fall in Sectional Semi-Final
By Ken McKenzie
The season came to an end Tuesday for the Point-Rapids Red Panthers Girls Hockey team as they were shut out 5-0 by the Central Wisconsin Storm, a D.C. Everest Co-op team, in WIAA semi-final sectional play hosted at Greenheck Fieldhouse in Schofield.
While the Red Panthers will put their gear away until next season, the #1 seeded Storm moves on to face #3 seed Northland Pines in a sectional championship final Saturday at 3 p.m.
Goalie Emily Bubla found there were no breaks in the goal on this night as the Central Wisconsin Storm kept near continuous pressure on goal in registering 43 shots on goal with 15 each in the first and second periods and 13 more in the third.
The Point-Rapids Red Panthers were less successful on offense, gaining a total of nine shots on goal for the night, posting 3-2-4 shots on goal in respective periods and going 0-1 on the lone power play of the game.
The Storms’ Elizabeth Bauer found the net midway at 9:34 of the opener to post the lead with Kelly Knetter getting another even-strength goal some two minutes later. Knetter would earn the hat trick in this game as she scored at 7:46 of the second period and eventually gained the final scoring goal at 9:41 of the third. In between Katelynn Schilling scored a Storm goal at 8:08 of the third.
In their regular season independent schedule this year, the Red Panthers were led in scoring by SPASH sophomore Megan Nolan with 11 goals and 13 points total and her school classmate, Bryar Brooks, who registered three goals and nine assists for a 12 point season.
SPASH senior Hannah Beilke ended her regular season year with six goals and five assists for 11 points while Pacelli sophomore Carolyn Storch had five goals and five assists for ten points.
Bubla, a Wisconsin Rapids senior, played 15 regular season games in goal, going 3-6-1 while earning 335 saves on 368 shots on goal for a .910 saves mark. SPASH sophomore Merina Chappel shared time in the goal, posting a 3-7-2 record in 13 games played, making 275 saves on 306 shots for a .899 saves mark.
The Red Panthers end their season with a 7-14-3 record in the ninth year that the Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids communities have cooperatively hosted a girls’ team for a positive experience in interscholastic sports.
Coached by third-year mentor Rachael Graves, the Red Panthers are represented with team players from Assumption, Pacelli, SPASH and Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln high schools; cooperatively hosting games as ‘home ice’ at Ice Hawks Arena, K.B.Willett Arena and South Wood County Recreation Center Ice Rink.