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.
RHINELANDER - Cancer survivors and supporters gathered at Ministry St. Mary's Hospital for the 10th annual Celebration of Life Thursday. The event honors those battling cancer or survivors of cancer and shows people what kinds of services the James Beck Cancer Center offers.
The center's namesake lost his life to cancer, but now others will be able to benefit from his gift to the hospital.
"With his vision and his dollars we were able to put this cancer center here in Rhinelander so patients don't have to travel to larger cities," said Director of Cancer Services Kimberly Hetland.
This year's speaker was Mike Regole, a survivor of tonsil cancer. He spoke about his experience at the center, how family and support affected his journey, and how he ran a business while having cancer.
SAYNER - A needle and thread means more to Pat Andersen than just sewing.
"I started quilting when I was 19 so it's been a passion of mine for a long time," said Pat.
Quilting gives her a community of ladies in the Northwoods.
"Sayner needs something like this, it needs something for the women to do," said Pat.
After moving to Sayner with her husband Don last spring, the two decided to buy the building that now houses Plum Lake Quilts. Pat needed somewhere to put her long arm machine and that eventually turned into a little retail business.
"I mean little and then it grew a little bit and it grew a little bit more," said Don Andersen.
MADISON - A $3 billion tax break bill for Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group is poised to pass the Wisconsin Assembly on a bipartisan vote.
Democratic state Rep. Cory Mason said during debate Thursday that he intends to vote for the bill. He is the first Democrat to publicly say he will back the measure that is being championed by Gov. Scott Walker and fellow Republicans.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - On a busy stretch of Highway 47 near Lac du Flambeau -- where hundreds of wheels spin at 55 miles-per-hour each day -- just one tire drags at a slower pace, pulled by one man: the Tire Man.
"I guess I'm the only one nutty enough to do it, I suppose," Frank Tarantino said with a laugh.
Tarantino lives in Mercer, but trains for marathons in Lac du Flambeau. He started pulling a tire on a chain a few years ago after reading about it in a fitness magazine. People often stop to take his picture.
"Little by little you run a little further, a little further," Tarantino said.
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