Hatchet hockey looking to get back on track heading into final stretch
By Jed Buelow
Tomahawk Leader Co-Editor, Sports and Nature Editor
There is a belief among some sport fans that it is hard to beat the same team three times in the same season.
Chequamegon might have given that notion some affirmation – after Tomahawk scored 16 goals in a pair of wins over Park Falls/Phillips earlier in the year – Team SEaL came to SARA Park last week and skated out of town with the 4-0 shutout win over the Hatchets.
Chequamegon jumped out to the early 2-0 lead before Tomahawk outshot Team SEaL in the second period 13-7. Unfortunately none of the shots connected for the Hatchets while Chequamegon managed to add one more to the scoreboard increasing their lead to three heading into the final period.
Team SEaL would add one more in period three en route to the shout out win.
The tough loss had Tomahawk head coach Chris Bembinster saying his team had some pivotal things to figure out to get the season back heading in the right direction.
“I truly believe in this group,” Bembinster stated. “Now we need to make them believe in themselves. The pieces of the puzzle are right in front of us and it is time to put them together.”
Thursday saw some of those pieces fall into place as Tomahawk hosted Merrill/East and made it a game right up until the final period.
After getting shut out the last time the two teams met up back in November, Tomahawk managed to take the early lead Thursday as Cody Scholz lit the lamp on a pass from Dominic Zattera to put the Hatchets on the scoreboard 9:12 into period one.
The Bluejacks would come out of the locker on fire at the start of the second period as they put up two in the first minute of play to take the lead. The lead would be short lived, as Tomahawk answered with a goal of their own as Caleb Lund’s shot lit the lamp with 14:24 left in the period to re-tie the game at two apiece.
Lund would connect for his second goal of game on a pass from Wyatt Leasure in the third but it wasn’t enough as Merrill/East managed to add three to the scoreboard to get the 6-3 win.
“Although we did not end up on the winning side this time, we have made some changes that have worked,” coach Bembinster said. “We played a more complete game tonight than (we have) all season.”
In the final game of the week Tomahawk hosted Ashland at SARA Park Friday and fell by a score 7-0. Already short on numbers the whole season long, the Hatchets lost a skater to injury in the first period and struggled to make up for the loss the rest of the game.
“We started pretty strong, but some penalty trouble and the injury hurt us,” the coach added. “We need to push ourselves to be better all over, both mentally and physically.”
Tomahawk finishes out the final match of a four-game home stretch tonight (Tuesday) as they host Medford for a GNC showdown at SARA Park. Opening puck drop is at 7 p.m.