MARSHFIELD – A wild first week of the season saw the Marshfield boys hockey team play its best game of the year, according to its coach, but the Tigers came up short, losing to Stevens Point 2-1 in the Wisconsin Valley Conference opener for both teams on Thursday night at the Marshfield Youth Ice Arena.
All of the scoring came in the first period. Aidan Boettcher scored just 1:34 into the game to give Stevens Point a 1-0 lead.
Max Heller tied things up for the Tigers (1-3-1 overall) with a goal off assists from Payton Smith and Nick Urban, 1:13 later.
But that would be all Marshfield would get against Stevens Point goalie Spencer Wierzba, who had 27 saves.
The Panthers (1-1 overall) scored what proved to be the game-winner at the 9:30 mark of the first period as Kade Smigaj got one past Marshfield goalie A.J. Trierweiler. Trierweiler finished with 30 saves in goal for the Tigers.
“We played the best game I have seen this year,” Marshfield coach Eric Bowman said. “While it did not end the way we would like, we were in the game and had chances. This game could have gone either way, and the team showed what they are capable of. They responded in a positive way after a tough night in Chippewa Falls on Tuesday. Tonight we gained some confidence and hope to have turned a corner on the young season.”
Marshfield returns to action Tuesday at Wisconsin Rapids.
Panthers 2, Tigers 1 Stevens Point 2 0 0 – 2 Marshfield 1 0 0 – 1 First period: 1. SP, Aidan Boettcher (Brandon Vicko), 1:34; 2. M, Max Heller (Payton Smith, Nick Urban), 2:47; 3. SP, Kade Smigaj (Austin Conley), 9:30. Saves: SP, Spencer Wierzba 27; M, A.J. Trierweiler 30. Records: Stevens Point 1-1, 1-0 Wisconsin Valley Conference; Marshfield 1-3-1, 0-1 Wisconsin Valley Conference.