Late Hodag goals bust open tight gameSubmitted: 12/19/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer

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.

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MINOCQUA - Every year thousands of kids go hungry. 

On Saturday nearly 600 volunteers from the Northwoods decided to help feed some of those children. 

The "Food for Kidz" organization, invited people to Lakeland Union High School, to help package non- perishable goods.

 The packages will be donated worldwide and to nearby food pantries.

Within the past eight years volunteers have packaged one million meals.

 Last year was the first year the organization started donating to local food pantries. 

This year volunteers will give 30,000 meals to the Northwoods community.

"It's just the recurring exuberance of the people that come in and do the packing we have many, repeat people that come year after year," said "Food for Kidz" Co-chairman John Breiten. 

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RICE LAKE - The Merrill football team doesn't feel it got the respect it deserved when WIAA playoff brackets came out last weekend. The Bluejays shared a Great Northern Conference championship.

But they were pinned to a number 8 seed, the lowest in the bracket, and travel to face top-seeded Rice Lake in a Division 3 Level 1 game Friday night.

Recent history doesn't favor Merrill in the playoffs. It has lost six straight playoff openers, dating to 2009.

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WAUSAU - People often leave unused prescriptions in their cabinets at home. But Wisconsin's Attorney General hopes you turn those prescriptions in Saturday to help solve a growing problem.

October 22 is Wisconsin's Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Attorney General Brad Schimel said more people die from accidental drug overdoses in Wisconsin than from car crashes.

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RHINELANDER - A simple grooming process many people take for granted helps keeps John honest with himself.

"You can't think too far ahead, at least that's the situation I find myself in," John said.

Convicted of drunk driving seven times, John -- who Newswatch 12 is only identifying by his first name -- faced a harsh reality when he ended up in prison after three arrests in just 13 months.

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MINOCQUA - By the time most of us finish breakfast, we already start planning what to eat for lunch.

For some kids all around the world, that next meal sometimes never comes.

The Food for Kidz Minocqua committee will lend a helping hand to change that Saturday morning.

Lakeland Union High School's common area will transform into a full-blown assembly line.

Food for Kidz volunteers will pour and pack ingredients into plastic bags.

The goal is 175,000 packed meals.

Food for Kidz needs more volunteers by tomorrow to meet that goal.

"If you haven't experienced this, come out and try it and you'll go away with just a great feeling," said Food for Kidz co-chair John Breiten.

Kids and adults of all ages are welcome to walk in to volunteer.

The food packages will be shipped off to anywhere from Honduras to Mozambique.

Some special meals will be set aside and sent to local communities in the Northwoods.

"It's just a great, fun community event. I think the kids especially take something away that they are giving beyond themselves," said Food for Kidz sponsor and Lakeland Union High School Spanish teacher Karen Roerich.

Walk-in volunteers are welcome to attend either packing shift tomorrow morning.

The first shift is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The second shift is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

If you can't make it out to Lakeland Union High School Saturday, donations are always welcome.

Call John Breiten at 715-686-7570 for more info.

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WAUSAU - Scott Walker faced a tough crowd at times in Iowa during his failed presidential bid. Now, an undercover video released this week may show those protesters were planted on purpose.

The Journal Sentinel reported the videos show activist Scott Foval bragging about disrupting a Walker rally in Iowa. Those videos were released by conservative activist James O'Keefe.

Foval talks about bringing people out of state into Wisconsin, but doesn't give a reason why.

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the systems known as manure digesters also help farms manage waste, which has become an increasingly controversial issue in Wisconsin as the size of dairy farms grows.

Wisconsin Public Service Commission officials say they're considering spending $10 million to $20 million on manure digester technology.

The commission also voted Thursday to authorize at least $7.7 million in funding for rebates for solar, wind and geothermal projects around the state that would keep a rebate program in place for energy consumers.

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