Pacelli boys hockey co-op falls to Wausau West in Regional Final
The Pacelli co-op (15-9) boys hockey team had its season come to close with an 8-0 loss at top-seeded and third-ranked Wausau West in a WIAA
Regional Final at Marathon County Ice Arena Thursday, Feb. 18.
“I always had some sense of expectation that we can
compete with these teams, as we have done in the past,” said Pacelli head coach
Rusty Mitch. “But even as we tried to make some adjustments during the game,
and then even afterward watching game film, that was a very good team that we
“They were fast and had great transition, and we
didn’t have the depth to compete with them,” he said. “West is a classy team,
and I expect them to go far, if not be in the State Championship Game. That’s
the best team that I’ve seen in awhile.”
West scored goals at 3:49, 5:46 and 8:59 in the first
period to take a 3-0 lead, and then added goals at 10:45 and 15:12 to go into
the first intermission with a 5-0 lead.
West added three more goals in the second period to
build an 8-0 lead, and went on to the 8-0 win, as Trent Kollock made 49 saves
in Pacelli’s season-ending loss.
“Going into the season, we knew we had lost a lot of
talent from the previous year,” said Mitch. “And a .500 record (this season), they thought of as
being a very high expectation.
“But as they came along and developed better skill and
better team play, they realized that as a team they could find a lot of success,”
he said. “And looking back, there’s some games that we should’ve won that we
didn’t win, but I think overall everybody was pretty satisfied with the way we
“We played some good, solid hockey,” he said. “Trent
Kollock just amazingly developed into a top goaltender, which is good to see,
and he probably won some games for us and he kept us in a lot too, where we may
have been a little lacking in depth.”
The loss was the final game for Pacelli’s seven
seniors in Joel Oney, Chris Karch, Isaac Kollock, Trent Kollock, Riley Voss,
Anders Jacobson and Luke Benjamin.
“These guys had
winning records every year for the last four years, and we lost one- or two-goal
games in the Regional Finals in three of the last four years, against Top
10-ranked teams,” said Mitch. “I just look back, and I can’t believe that some
of these guys were able to start as freshmen, like Joel Oney and Chris Karch,
and then the other ones that developed into contributors for four years.
“They’re a good bunch of
kids, I think they had a good hockey experience, and that’s important, that’s
what they’re going to remember,” he said. “They’re not going to remember their
record for the season, they probably will remember specific games, but I think
they’ll remember the experience that they had with each other.”