Schmidt earns third shutout of season in Robins' win|
Goals were in short supply Saturday afternoon at the Langlade County Multi-Purpose Building. Taking on the visiting Hayward Hurricanes, the Red Robins won 1-0 with multiple scoring chances that never came to fruition.
With the most important game of the season thus far (at Northland Pines, Tuesday at 7 p.m.) looming ahead, the Antigo hockey coaching staff was slightly less than pleased with their team’s performance.
For a Hayward team that was 5-13-2 coming into Saturday’s contest, the Red Robin boys, coaches, and faithful fans expected a higher display of offense.
“We knew they were a scrappy team,” Coach Matt Borneman said, beginning to shake his head, “but we really did expect more than one goal.”
Scoring chances presented themselves, as the now seventh-ranked Robins put up a staggering 43 shots on Hurricanes’ goaltender Darby Hand.
A few impressive saves and off-target shots were enough to convince Coach Borneman of his team’s mishaps rather than the opponent’s defensive talents.
“Well, we made (Hand) look good on most of those saves,” he noted.
The Robins dominated attack zone possession the entire game, and had chances to put the Hurricanes away for good in multiple opportunities.
Antigo succeeded in limiting its club to three penalties, including a debatable unsportsmanlike conduct call against Bailey Olson at 15:37 of the third period offset by a cross-checking minor from Hayward’s Jack Rainville.
The only goal of the afternoon came from Alex Nagel, whose impressive stats are becoming the discussion of many in the Great Northern Conference, 1:40 into the third period. Aided by Elijah Wickersheim, who has amassed 22 assists this season, and Ben Jansen with his ninth assist of the year, the goal would prove the only successful chance for the Robins to put the puck between the pipes.
Within a few minutes span in the third period alone, Jackson Charlesworth had two golden looks that went awry. Shooting hard from the top of the faceoff circle during a Hayward penalty early in the third, Charlesworth’s shot ricocheted off the far post.
Later in the period, Charlesworth snuck into the seam on the backdoor and launched a wrist shot that was gloved by Hayward’s Hand. The game ended as such, 1-0.
Antigo goaltender Ryan Schmidt finished with 13 saves on the afternoon, the majority faced in the last minutes of the third period in the Hurricanes’ last-ditch effort. The win marks Schmidt’s third shutout of the season.
When asked how his team’s performance would help prepare the coaching staff for conference leading Northland Pines, Coach Borneman was almost stoic.
“We have to get ready for (the game in) Eagle River. We have to get back to the game plan that was winning us games. We were working hard and not expecting plays to happen. We just got to work,” he said.
The game against GNC—leading Northland Pines is Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Eagle River.
Hayward at Antigo
Robins 1, Hurricanes 0
At Langlade County Multi-Purpose Building
Saturday, Feb. 1 2014
AHS 0 0 1 — 1
HAY 0 0 0 — 0
AHS—1:40 Alex Nagel (Elijah Wickersheim, Ben Jansen)
AHS: Ryan Schmidt 3 4 6 — 13
HAY: Darby Hand 15 14 14 — 43
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