RHINELANDER - A flurry of third-period goals turned a nail-biter into a comfortable victory for the Rhinelander High School boys hockey team Thursday night.
The Hodags lit the lamp three times in the final session to beat Medford, 4-0, at Rhinelander Ice Arena.
With the win, Rhinelander reached its third win of the year in seven games. In each of the last three seasons, the Hodags tallied just three wins for the entire year.
"One way we can go is into Christmas and just be delighted we have three wins," RHS coach M.J. Laggis said after the game. "We want to focus on the positive, but we want to stay hungry and realize we're not content with three wins."
Calin Erdmann scored twice for Rhinelander, doubling his season goal total.
"You saw us cycle that puck out of the corner and get them to collapse. We talked about getting it up top and then driving the net, letting that shot go, and making mayhem," Laggis said.
Jacob Arno saved ten shots in goal for the Hodags to record his first shutout of the season.
Rhinelander avenged a 3-2 home loss to Medford last year, in which the Hodags outshot the Raiders 53-15.
"(Medford's Carter) Jamieson, he's just a tough goalie. We put so many shots on him last year, one of the most frustrating losses I've been a part of here at home."
This time, Rhinelander outshot Medford 45-10 and made the scoreboard match the disparity in shots.
Erdmann opened the scoring 4:29 into the game, netting a well-struck shot from the right circle. Trent Wild picked up the assist.
Scoring went dry after that. The teams went into both first and second intermissions with a 1-0 score.
"Lots of pipes and crossbars," Laggis commented.
The coach didn't like the feeling at second intermission.
"You have that gut-wrenching feeling after the second (period) when it was 1-0 and we had 28 shots. But we came out in the third and buried some pucks," Laggis said.
The scoring got started quickly for the Hodags in the third. As Henry Kipper was falling to the ice 3:20 into the period, he put a shot past Jamieson to make it 2-0.
Just 28 seconds later, Erdmann tallied again, putting home a Kyle Loher rebound. Wild picked up another assist on the play.
At the 7:10 mark, Kade Kennedy got his first goal as a Hodag, sneaking in a bouncing puck with assists from Kurt Zuiker and Evan Erdmann.
"That's an example of just, get it to the net and something good happens," Laggis said.
The victory was also Rhinelander's first conference win of the season. They improved to 1-3-0 in Great Northern Conference play, and 3-4-0 overall.
Medford fell to 1-8-0, 0-5-0.
The Hodags now break for more than two weeks.
"Over Christmas break, there's going to be so much focus on making goalies move and getting that puck to the net," Laggis said.
Rhinelander returns to the ice January 6 against Merrill at RIA.
MAUSTON - Authorities are investigating the death of a person who was found unresponsive in Decorah Lake early Friday.
Kyle Lynch, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources warden for Juneau County, says he was called to the scene to assist in a boat search about 1:30 a.m. He also says the Mauston Fire Department recovered the body, which was found in the water.
The Mauston Police Department says attempts were made to rescue the individual, but the Juneau County Coroner's Office pronounced the individual dead at the scene. Police have provided few other details, and the victim's name has not been released.
WAUSAU - This has been Wisconsin's deadliest gun-deer season in the past five years, with two shooting fatalities already recorded.
Daily Herald Media reports (http://wdhne.ws/1HvNth3 ) that the two fatalities brought to an end a three-year series of seasons that had been free of firearm deaths. Four other hunters also have been wounded.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, hunters violated some of the fundamental rules of gun safety in all the incidents.
A man was killed last Sunday in Columbia County when he was shot while passing a loaded rifle to a companion in a tree stand. Wearing mittens, she grabbed the gun near the trigger and it went off. On Monday, a hunter in Waushara County was killed by a stray bullet.
APPLETON - The U.S. Marshals Service says a convicted sex offender who was wanted for violating the terms of his release has been arrested in Appleton.
The agency says 63-year-old L.C. Streeter, of Milwaukee, was previously convicted of four separate sexual assaults from 1976 to 1985. Wisconsin committed him as a sexually violent person in 1996, and he remained in treatment until his release in 2013 under intensive supervision.
The service said in a statement that he cut off his GPS and electronic monitoring bracelets and fled supervision on Monday, resulting in a warrant for his arrest. Federal marshals and Appleton police arrested him without incident in Appleton on Friday.
Kevin Carr, the U.S. marshal for eastern Wisconsin, says Streeter was "an absolute danger to the community based upon his past convictions."
TOMAH - The Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center says it has adopted another plan to improve patient care.
The La Crosse Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1QMsDMZ) that Friday's release of the "100-day plan" comes almost 11 months after media reports that veterans at the center were prescribed excessive doses of opioid pain-killers and that employees who spoke out faced retaliation from top officials.
The plan, which follows a 30-day plan announced in May, outlines steps for improving access to care, employee engagement and restoring trust.
Among other things, it calls for recruitment of psychiatric staff, employee forums and listening sessions, and opening an employee wellness center.
Several Tomah VA officials — including former Director Mario Desanctis and former Chief of Staff David Houlihan — have been fired since the problems emerged early this year.
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