Playoff push on the horizon for Panthers, Cardinals
By Jacob Heid
STEVENS POINT — The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) boys’ hockey playoffs are around the corner for the Steven Point Area Senior High (SPASH) and Pacelli Co-op hockey teams starting Thursday, Feb. 15.
In D1, the Panthers worked through the season and got rewarded with the No. 2 seed in their sectional.
For D2 action, the Cardinals got awarded the No. 7 seed in their sectional for a possible playoff push.
The Panthers will host the regional final against No. 7-seeded Wisconsin Rapids or No. 10-seeded Marshfield on Thursday, Feb. 15, at K.B. Willett Ice Arena.
The action starts at 7 p.m.
As of Feb. 6, SPASH finished the regular season nearly perfect. With an 18-2-2 record, the Panthers remained without a loss for most of the season before dropping two straight games on Jan. 27 and 30.
SPASH has its last regular season on Thursday, Feb. 8, before starting playoff preparations.
SPASH is led by junior Jackson Schroeder and sophomore Grady Miller, who each have 56 and 55 points, respectively, as of Feb. 6. Miller leads the team in assists with 36, while Schroeder leads the Panthers in goals with 29.
Senior Mason Spurlin has allowed only 33 goals on the year as of Feb. 6.
For Pacelli, the path to Bob Suter’s Capital Ice Arena is on the road.
The Cardinals travel to Minocqua to face Lakeland in the opening round on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m.
Led by first-year Head Coach Jeff Parranto, Pacelli sits at 8-14 on the year and had its last regular season game on Thursday, Feb. 8.
Sophomore Payton LeDocq leads the Cardinals with 12 assists, and Amherst senior Drew Bandy leads the team with nine goals.
Pacelli has shown some depth, with 14 players scoring a goal this season.
The WIAA state hockey tournament is at Bob Suter’s Capital Ice Arena in Middleton from Feb. 29-March 2.