RHINELANDER - Rapid-fire Waupaca goals doomed the Rhinelander High School boys hockey team in a 6-1 loss to the Comets Saturday night at Rhinelander Ice Arena.
Waupaca coupled goals within 15 seconds of each other early in the second period. Midway through the third, they scored twice within a minute.
Despite the lopsided loss, Hodags coach M.J. Laggis was pleased with many aspects of how Rhinelander played.
"We had a lot of energy, and a lot of good shifts. But we gave up some goals in clumps," he said.
Waupaca only outshot the Hodags 28-23.
Even though the score wouldn't indicate it, the time in possession of the puck was fairly even throughout the game.
"There were a few times we just made really bad plays with the puck, things that we can definitely improve on. But I liked our energy. I liked the fact that we held the zone for sustained periods of time," Laggis said.
Rhinelander's only goal came on a Brett Estabrook powerful slap shot from just above the left circle at the 8:50 mark in the second period. Estabrook slammed the one-timer to the back post, past returning first-team all conference goalie Walker Smith for the unassisted tally.
Waupaca had lit the lamp early. Austin Erickson scored just a minute and a half into the game.
The rest of the first period was evenly played, but the Comets picked up goals 51 seconds and 66 seconds into the second. Aaron Dahle got his fourth goal of the season, and Erickson scored his second of the game.
After Estabrook's goal, Waupaca standout Jared Erickson picked a loose puck and scored on the breakaway to make it 4-1 at the second intermission.
Jared Erickson and Elliot Crisman scored in the final period for Waupaca.
Smith and Rhinelander goalie Jacob Arno each finished with 22 saves.
"I don't fault Jake Arno. Jake Arno made the save, but it was a lot of rebound stuff," Laggis said.
Play on the ice was incredibly clean. The first penalty of the game wasn't until the final minute of the second period, a too many men on the ice infraction on Waupaca. The first contact penalty wasn't until the last four minutes of the game.
However, a whistle with just 1.4 seconds left in regulation will have lasting impact for the Hodags.
Henry Kipper was assessed a game misconduct for a check from behind. That call will sideline him for Rhinelander's next game.
"He didn't mean to do that. But we still, as a group, didn't keep our composure the last three minutes. We played about 45 minutes of penalty-free hockey. We have to finish that way, too," Laggis said.
Kipper apologized for the play, and both the Hodags and Comets seemed to agree there was nothing malicious. Nonetheless, Kipper will be suspended per WIAA rules.
Rhinelander dropped to 2-3-0 and 0-2-0 in Great Northern Conference play. Waupaca improved to 3-2-1, 2-1-0.
"We're learning fast. Two and three (record)? Whatever. We'll see where we're at in January," Laggis said.
The Hodags next travel to Minocqua on Tuesday to face Lakeland.
"They've really just taken us over their knee over the last couple of years. We're looking at going into their building and playing a strong game," Laggis said.
PELICAN LAKE - Tribal members from across Wisconsin held a Deep Winter Camp to pass on parts of their cultures. Members from several different tribes wanted to give kids the chance to experience a piece of their culture. They hope the camp encourages younger members to keep traditions going and never forget where they came from. "They're going to be the next teachers they're good kids and we all love every kid that came here and spent time with us. They all learned something and they'll take it back and teach others," said Lac du Flambeau Band Vice Chairman John Johnson Sr.
CRANDON - Forest County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Justice was justified in shooting and killing 31-year-old Brandon Cude on Jan. 4, Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono ruled Friday.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice released the results of its investigation in the case, and Simono's decision, Friday afternoon.
The DOJ documents detail how Cude swung a shotgun at Justice at close range. The deputy had just learned Cude had felony warrants against him, and Justice was trying to arrest Cude. Justice fired four shots on the scene, a rural road south of Crandon.
"He didn't get a shot off?" a fellow officer asked Justice after the shooting.
"No. He tried, though. Pulled that sucker out and pointed it right at me," Justice replied in an exchange recorded on a body camera.
EAGLE RIVER - Vilas County officers can now respond to active shooter calls better prepared.
All deputies and patrol offices now have access to steel-plated body armor, something only the Vilas County SWAT Team had before.
"We want to make sure our staff are fully protected," said Vilas County Sheriff's Office Captain Gerard Ritter. "I never want to see anything happen to any one of my staff. And we should outfit them with the protection they need."
Before the new body armor, Ritter said officers and deputies only had access to soft body armor.
"The weave material is designed to stop or slow down a projectile," said Ritter.
Officers will still wear the soft-bodied armor every day, but in active shooter situations, officers can now essentially double up on protection, protection once only offered to the SWAT Team.
"There has been an increase in active shooter incidences across the United States," said Ritter.
RHINELANDER - Police think an Oneida County man downloaded hundreds of pornographic pictures of young girls using a private chatroom.
During Danial Smith's preliminary hearing Friday, Smith's attorney asked if police had any way of knowing it was his client who downloaded the more than 700 photos.
The state Department of Justice learned a computer near Rhinelander downloaded the pictures in late 2016 thanks to a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The internet protocol (IP) addresses from the downloads were linked to Smith's home on County C in the town of Stella.
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