GNC playoff life short lived as Pines blanks Tomahawk in opening round barnburner
By Jed Buelow
Tomahawk Leader Co-Editor, Sports and Nature Editor
The opening round of the Great Northern Conference hockey playoffs went according to ranking as each of the highest ranked teams got wins to advance to the second round.
Top seeded Northland Pines easily handled #8 Tomahwk in a 15-0 barnburner in Eagle River, #2 seeded Lakeland advanced with a 4-1 win over #7 Medford, #3 Mosinee is moving on after getting the 7-5 win over #6 Rhinelander and #4 Waupaca snuck by #5 Antigo to advance to take on Northland Pines in round two. The other matchup included Lakeland taking on Mosinee in round 2 action of the GNC playoff being held tonight (Tuesday).
In the route in Eagle River, Pines got on the scoreboard early and often scoring five goals in period one before taking a 9-0 lead into the final period. They would add six more in period three to secure Tomahawk’s early exit from this year’s GNC tourney.
Despite the big loss to Northland Pines, Hatchet head coach Chris Bembinster said his team does have all the pieces to the puzzle and just needs to put them together in a hurry to finish the season strong.
The Hatchets will get a bit of break leading up to the GNC Championship that Northland Pines will host on Saturday, Feb. 15. Opening puck drop for the GNC Championship in Eagle River begins at 10 a.m. It will then be a quick turnaround for Tomahawk, as the Hatchets will be set to take part in the WIAA Regional opening round on Thursday, Feb. 20 that will include another showdown at the barn in Eagle River that begins at 7 p.m.