RHINELANDER - The scoreboard said Rhinelander boys hockey’s 5-1 loss to Waupaca Saturday night was more of the same.
The coaches are saying something different after the Great Northern Conference opener.
“The thing that I like is for the first time since the first game of the year, there’s a lot of energy in the locker room. The kids were super positive to each other, and that makes me happy because I think we can win some hockey games,” said head coach M.J. Laggis. “I realize that at 0-5 you could scoff or laugh at that, but I really believe we’re going to win some hockey games before we’re done.”
While the Hodags did drop to 0-5-0 and 0-1-0 in the GNC, statistics reflect Rhinelander’s improvement. They were within three shots on goal at 26-23.
“We outshot them in the second and third. We’re playing better and have to keep getting better,” Laggis said.
Freshman Alex Littleton played the entire game in goal and stopped 21 of the shots.
“I think Alex did a nice job, but we’re in a situation right now where we’re pretty much going back and forth between goalies. He got it tonight. (Jake) Arno will get it Tuesday night. That’s how we’re going to roll for a while,” Laggis said.
Chris Hagen notched the Hodags’ only goal. Trailing 1-0 in the first period, Hagen picked the pocket of a Comet blueliner and squeezed a lefty wrister past Waupaca goalie Walker Smith to tie the game.
The Comets, however, would score four unanswered goals after that – one more in the first, two in the second, and one in the third.
Jerry Erickson had a pair of goals and an assist to move to 12 points on the year for 3-2-1 Waupaca. Frankie Ellingson also had two goals.
Even in the loss, the pros outweighed the cons for Laggis.
“The thing that I liked the most tonight is that we’re playing with a lot of intensity, a lot of scrappiness. You can see that we’re young, you can see we’re immature, but we’re catching passes better, and we’re playing hard in the offensive zone, and we’re generating more shots,” he said.
Laggis said he expects Northland Pines to go to State this year. The Hodags will get a chance to upset the Eagles Tuesday at Rhinelander Ice Arena. Listen to the game with Adam Matyska on HodagSports.com. The puck drops at 7pm.
EAGLE RIVER - Soccer players may need to wait for the snow on their fields to melt. But they know cabin fever is starting to set in, and it's the perfect time to capitalize on it.
The 7th annual Cabin Fever Indoor Soccer Tournament kicked off today at Northland Pines High School. The event raises money for the school’s boy's and girl's soccer teams.
"This was an opportunity to have an indoor soccer program so the kids can do something in the winter," says tournament director Steve Gilbert. "There was a need for a fundraiser so we thought why not have a tournament. There are other tournaments in the region, why not have one here with this tremendous facility that we have here at Pines."
Nearly 100 5th through 8th graders played in the co-ed soccer matches. Their participation makes it possible for the team to buy new equipment.
"It allows us to buy things that maybe the school can't afford to buy for them, so different types of warm-ups, equipment out on the field," says Gilbert. "One time we bought a camera for them so we could film their games. So it's going to good causes."
WOODRUFF - The Olympics might be over, but the Paralympics are underway in Sochi. Teachers at one local school are using the Olympic spirit to teach students about other countries.
Students at North Country Montessori celebrated International Day Friday morning. The students learn about different countries throughout the school year.
"The children at Montessori do a huge unit on geography and world culture, and we used today as a way to express the information that we found and things that we've learned," says North Country Montessori director Candice Henderson.
This year's theme was the Sochi Olympics.
Each student dressed up as a different country and sang songs in Russian.
This was the school's 30th annual International Day celebration. It ended with a potluck meal featuring ethnic food from different countries.
ST. GERMAIN - We all love our favorite sports teams. But what would happen if you had to dress up in your rival's gear? That's exactly what happened to Bears fan, Jerry Healy.
He's the janitor at St. Germain Elementary School. Healy challenged the students to raise over $700 for charity. If they did he'd wear the green and gold.
“Mr Healy you're unbelievable thank you for doing this,” says Jerry Healy, St. Germain Elementary School Janitor. “One kid said, "all this is disgusting Mr. Healy,” and another little kid who's a diehard Packers fan came up he came up and he's got an orange and blue pair of pants on and goes I'm a bears fan, today you're a packer fan, and that was pretty cool he's in second grade.”
As you can see the students surpassed the goal. The money went to pennies for patients. It’s an organization that supports people diagnosed with leukemia. The challenge brought the whole school together.
“Well I think they rose to the occasion they understood they're helping others in an easy but fun way. They came together as a class, as a whole school and just had a lot of fun with it,” says Jeff Waltz, a third grade teacher at St. Germain Elementary School.
This wasn't the first time Jerry got to dress up as a Packers fan. He did the same thing a few years ago when students accomplished a reading goal.
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