Goaltenders duel, Schroeder plays hero against Rockets
By Jacob Heid
STEVENS POINT — Goaltending was the story for two periods before SPASH’s points leader, Jackson Schroeder, became the hero for the No. 1-ranked SPASH boys’ hockey team in a home game Jan. 23 vs. Neenah at K.B. Willett Arena in Stevens Point.
Senior Mason Spurlin, the Panthers’ netminder, and Neenah’s Owen Debbert kept the game scoreless through two periods before SPASH came away with a 1-0 win to move to 15-0-1 on the year as of Jan. 24.
It was a relatively quiet first period for both sides. With no penalties, the teams skated cleanly to a scoreless opening period.
SPASH led the Rockets in shots 9-4 after the first period.
Neenah had its highest shots total of the night in the second period.
With eight shots and one power play opportunity, Spurlin denied all eight pucks to keep the game knotted at 0-0 after 34 minutes.
The Panthers couldn’t find the back of the net on another 11 shots in the middle frame as they held a 20-11 shots advantage heading into the third.
After just one penalty combined in two periods, plenty were scattered throughout the final period of regulation.
With just a three-shot differential (9-6) in the period, Schroeder buried the difference maker, 1-0, late in the period, the eventual game-winner.
Spurlin made 17 saves to complete the shutout. Neenah’s Debbert collected 28 saves on 29 shots to keep the Rockets in the game.
With another non-conference win in the books, SPASH looks to keep its undefeated conference record (8-0) intact at Wausau West on Thursday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m.
The Warriors’ only conference loss (6-1) is from SPASH, 5-2, back on Dec. 14 as they sit in second place in the Wisconsin Valley Conference.
SPASH also has a big non-conference game against a ranked Eau Claire Memorial team on Saturday, Jan. 27, at Hobbs Municipal Ice Center in Eau Claire. The puck drop is at 2 p.m.