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Zelinski Hat-Trick Puts Pacelli Past Tomahawk in Overtime

By Bill Berg Jr, WiPH Staff, 12/08/21, 12:45PM CST


The Stevens Point Pacelli coop missed the last two varsity hockey seasons, but they are back this season. They captured their second win of the season last night at home against Tomahawk in dramatic fashion with a 5-4 overtime barnburner. 

Neither team cracked in the first period, where Tomahawk held a 10-5 shot advantage, and it looked like it was going to be a tight game. Both teams had chances, but neither could capitalize.

That all changed in the second period though. Just 48 seconds into the period Zack Friske got Tomahawk on the board when he roofed a rebound into the top of the net.

Tomahawk looked like a team possessed for the first several minutes of the second period, and dominated puck possession for the first half of the period, but they weren't able to extend the lead.

At the midway mark of the period Balin Wojtalewicz got Pacelli on the board, and it marked a tide change in the period.

Mason Zielinski scored on a breakaway 2:24 later, and then scored again just 9 seconds after that on the ensuing faceoff to quickly make it 3-1 Pacelli.

It only took 1:23 for Tomahawk to answer back and cut the lead to 3-2  on a Caleb Dickens. He won the race to a loose puck, and then put a nifty move on the goalie.

Friske tied the game for Tomahawk just 1:02 later, but the tie didn't last long. A Tomahawk player got chased down and caught on a breakway and Pacelli turned around quickly and ended up in a two-on-one against a forward. Sawyer Olds capped off the play with a goal to put Pacelli back up 4-3 at the end of the second period.

Tomahawk outshot Pacelli 23-11 in period number two.

The third period was more like the first, with both teams generating opportunities but failing to capitalize. Austin Lamer tied the game up for Tomahawk at the 7:10 mark after receiving a long lead pass and coming in all alone.

And so after a short intermission we headed to overtime, where the play was dominated by Tomahawk, but at the 2:48 mark Zielinski and Max Voss ended up on a 2-on-0 and buried it to take the 5-4 win.

"Obviously we want to win games like that," said Tomahawk coach Chris Bembinster, "but we gave a up a few quick goals and battled back to pit it in OT. The last few years that may not have happened."

Andrew Samundsen stopped 20 of 25 in the loss for Tomahawk who fall to 1-3 on the season; Carter Herheim stopped 43 of 47 for Pacelli who improve to 2-1.

"Overall, we have work to do, but these kids showed last night they will accomplish what ever they set their minds to," Bembinster said.  "Looking forward to the rest of the season!"

Coach Bembinster on Tomahawk this season after a couple tough years:
The coaches are really happy with the direction we are headed in right now.  Unfortunately we knew the last 2 years were going to be rough for multiple reasons.   The group of kids that helped keep the program alive deserve more than just a thank you.  2 wins in 2 years is a tough pill to swallow.  They stayed the course to help build the foundation we have now.  With that our youth hockey program has great people throughout, making this transition that much easier.

Coach Bembinster on Tomahawk's three girls players:
All 3 girls deserve recognition for coming to skate with the boys team.  Scout in particular is a very unique player.  Not only is her vision and hockey IQ excellent,  she has some great leadership skills.  She is one of those players that wants to get better every day,  and shows it in practice all the time.  She will turn out to be a great player in the future.


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