In an evenly matched boys hockey game, missing a key player in overtime can make all the difference.
The Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells boys hockey team found that out on Nov. 27 when the Cheavers hosted Tomah/Sparta for a non-conference game which ended in a 2-2 draw.
After three back-and-forth periods of play, RWD had all the momentum in the overtime period before senior Derek Pawlak made an uncharacteristic misconduct penalty after talking back to an official. While the Cheavers were still able to play at full strength for the final three minutes, coach Neil Mattson said it was an unfortunate mental mistake as Pawlak could have potentially helped RWD win the game.
“Derek is one of the go-to guys; obviously in the first game he had a hat trick,” he said. “I’m not sure of all what was said on the ice but when you’re a captain I expect a lot more. And Derek is a good kid, and I think he expects more out of himself too. You can’t let the emotions of a game get to you, and I know it’s hard as a high school player to keep those emotions back but you need to keep that in check. Because the younger kids on my team feed off of what the upperclassmen do.”
Both teams felt each other out in a scoreless opening frame. Wisconsin Dells’ Reid Marsich got an open look at the goal a few minutes in but his shot was saved by goalie Paul Vender, who saved 36 on the night. Tomah/Sparta had an opportunity of its own moments later with a hard shot which rebounded off RWD goalie Cooper Oakes but Oakes smartly covered up the puck.
Slideshow photo by Chris Flores.