By Craig Marx, Editor
The No. 1-ranked Wausau West Warriors came into the Langlade County Multi-Purpose Building on Tuesday evening to take on the No. 9 Antigo Red Robins, a team that had dashed the juggernaut Warriors in last year’s WIAA Sectional Round. The Robins were not so fortunate this time around, losing 5-0 on their home ice.
“West is a solid team top to bottom. They deserve to the No. 1 ranking. They dominated us in all facets of the game,” Coach Matt Borneman said later.
West was able to control the blue line of the attack zone, keeping pucks in and pinching to keep plays alive while outshooting the Robins 40-20 for the game.
The Warriors’ leading scorer, Christian Bardarson, netted the first goal of the evening at the 6:48 mark of the first period while Josh Bohlin gave West a 2-0 advantage with a goal roughly two and a half minutes later.
After one period of play, Sam Techel gave the Warriors a three-goal lead at the 9:49 mark of the second period. Antigo showed signs of life on a power play late in the period but unfortunately could not capitalize on the first, real sustained pressure on West goaltender Jacob Warnke.
Wausau West controlled the rest of the game in the final period. Bohlin scored another goal from the near faceoff circle after a drop pass from Nick Techel, while the Warriors netted their fifth and final goal on a Cade Lemmer score at the 9:41 mark of the third on a missed pokecheck from goalie Ben Bartletti.
Coach Borneman took the loss upon his own shoulders.
“It is my job to have the team ready to compete, and it was evident we were not ready. Whether the problem was the game plan, practice preparation, mental preparation, physical preparation, or all of the above, we need to figure it out,” Borneman said.
Antigo hockey is now 14-6-0 on the season and hosts Northland Pines (12-8-0) this Thursday at 7 PM.