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.
STEVENS POINT - Stevens Point police want your help finding suspects in two possible stabbings. The stabbings happened early Friday morning and early Sunday morning near downtown Stevens Point.
Friday, four young men got into a fight on Main Street. One man said he was stabbed in the chest. Police say the suspect is a black man in his mid-20s, about 5' 9" tall, with a muscular build and short hair. The victim was treated at the hospital and released.
Sunday morning, police responded to an incident at 2nd Street and Crosby Avenue. Witnesses heard glass breaking and people yelling about a stabbing. Police don't have a victim or suspect description in that case, but they don't believe the two stabbings are connected.
If you have any information about the stabbings, call Detective Sgt. Gruber at 715-346-1518.
You can also call Portage County Crimestoppers to remain anonymous at 888-346-6600.
TOWN OF LITTLE RICE - Dennis Schoeneck's pickup truck sloshes through muddy logging roads these days. But he'd prefer it if a much larger truck could even make it down the path.
"Heck, I think you could spit and make mud here," the Enterprise Forest Products owner said Tuesday morning.
Foot-deep ruts make up most of the logging road leading back to 23 acres of private land the long-time logger harvests in the western Oneida County town of Little Rice. Schoeneck started logging professionally in 1979 and says 2016 has been "exceptionally wet" compared to any other year.
"The old adage, make hay while the sun shines, that's not just for farmers," Schoeneck said. "That's for us too."
RHINELANDER - People in Rhinelander will be able to cast their November election ballots starting on Friday. It's the earliest people in Wisconsin have ever been able to vote.
The absentee ballots are stacked and ready for Friday at the Rhinelander City Clerk's office. To make the early voting process go as smoothly as possible, you will need to come prepared.
"When you come in make sure that you're registered. That is important. Make sure you're registered in the city if you're coming into us," said Clerk Valerie Foley.
Registering is easy; all you need is a photo ID and proof of residence. The registration form takes a couple of minutes, and then you will be able to fill out an election ballot.
"I think it is going to be a very busy day. I think people are pretty interested in the issues. And I think a lot of them would like to get and make sure they can vote if they're not certain they're going to make it to the polls in November or not," said Foley.
The clerk's office has already sent out about 200 ballots to people who have requested them.
Now, it is preparing for the early voter in-person rush.
If you are unsure whether you are registered to vote or where to go for early voting, the clerk's office suggests voters visit myvote.wi.gov for more information.
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