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Park senior Austin Ulik and the Wolfpack won their first game of the year 8-7 in overtime over Rochester Mayo on Dec. 27. (Submitted photo by Steve Rooker)

Park boys hockey: Wolfpack scores eight goals to beat Mayo

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Park’s Eric Stoffel and Nick Lucas made sure that their team’s losing streak would end before the new year.

They each scored goals in the third period against Rochester Mayo on Dec. 27 in the Rochester Kiwanis Tournament. Those goals tied the game 7-7, and Lucas provided the game-winner in overtime to lift Park to its first win, 8-7, snapping an eight-game slide.

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The eight goals were a season high for Park.

“We came back late in our two wins and scored some goals for a change,” Wolfpack coach Jay Moser said.

Matt Palmquist had the win in net for the Wolfpack with 23 saves. Lucas scored three goals and Stoffel ad two goals. Sam Barnes, Austin Ulik and Wallace also had a goal apiece.

The Wolfpack didn’t stop there at the tourney as they edged Ashwaubenon, Wis. 4-3 on Dec. 28 in overtime again. Lucas provided the overtime heroics with a goal on an assist from Pat McCarthy 26 seconds into the extra frame.

Lucas also had previously tied the game 3-3 late in the third period at 16:59. Brent Wallace and Stoffel each assisted on that goal. The first two Wolfpack goals came from Nick Gamache and McCarthy in the first period. Wyatta Stanton and Stoffel assisted on those goals respectively, giving the team a 2-1 lead. Ashwaubenon then tied the game and took the lead early in the third before Lucas’ big goals. Kyle Strand took the win in goal with 25 saves and an .893 save percentage.

The Wolfpack bounced back from their tough opener to the tourney where they lost 5-0 to Hudson, Wis. on Dec. 26.

Building on the first win streak of the season proved difficult for the Wolfpack in their return to Suburban East Conference play on Saturday, Jan. 4 when they fell to Hastings 3-2.

“We played well enough to win but couldn’t finish when we needed to,” Moser said. “We have to understand that the little things matter especially when the game is tight.”

Barnes and Alex Kielsa each scored goals for Park (2-9, 0-7 SEC) to put the Wolfpack up 2-0 in the first period against the Raiders. Ulik, Nick Gamache, Matt Goecke and Lucas assisted on the goals.

That lead faded as the Raiders got on the board late in the first with a goal by Andy Neuman. The Wolfpack then gave up two third period goals, which gave the Raiders (6-7-1; 2-4-1 SEC) the 3-2 win.

Palmquist had 31 saves in net with a .912 save percentage. Wolfpack offensive play look strong in the first two periods with 19 shots, but they mustered only three in the final period.

A pair of tough road conference games looms ahead for the Wolfpack in the next week. They take on Forest Lake (7-3-3, 3-1-1 SEC) on Thursday and Stillwater (7-5, 5-2 SEC) on Saturday.

“I expect our team to come to the rink ready to play with a renewed focus on playing to win rather than playing not to lose,” Moser said.

-Matthew Davis

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