By Craig Marx, Editor
Antigo hockey has come a long way under the tutelage of Coach Matt Borneman and his respected coaching staff. Coming off of an 18-6 season and another Great Northern Conference championship thanks to an undefeated 8-0 GNC record, the Antigo Red Robins bring back key elements to their success while adding new players to the mix.
Brody Bunnell replaces the superlative Ben Bartletti in net, taking over for the departed senior who was named a finalist for the prestigious Kirk Daubenspeck Award last season. Bartletti logged 16 wins on the year, posting a .931 save percentage and a 1.47 goals allowed average during the Robins’ successful 2016-17 year.
Antigo will also be without the services of one of the top assist men in the state as Tyler Husnick also graduated. Husnick led the Robins with 47 total points on 11 goals and 36 assists, finding ways to help his teammates bury the puck.
In the goal scoring realm, Antigo does return its two most prolific snipers in Adam Schmidt (22 goals) and CJ Levis (17). Backed up by returning senior defensemen Matt Winter and Jack Shinners, Antigo retains seasoned talent at key skill positions.
At the time of this preview’s publication, Antigo had dropped its opening game in heartbreaking, overtime fashion 2-1 to the perennially tough SPASH Panthers on Nov. 28. Both teams entered the opening week of the hockey season as honorable mentions in the Wisconsin Prep Hockey Top Ten polls.
As has been seemingly tradition in the past few years under Coach Borneman, the Robins’ schedule is tough from the get-go. Unlike last season, however, tough matchups against state-renowned programs such as Superior and Neenah/Hortonville/Menasha will be hosted by Antigo. The Robin schedule should delight fans as Antigo’s first eight games of the year are slotted for home games.
Later in the season, some other notable contests include a trip to Notre Dame (No. 3 in the state as of Nov. 29) on Tuesday, January 9, a Wausau tournament on Friday, January 19 and Saturday, January 20, as well as a trip to West Salem on Saturday, February 3.
2017-18 AHS Boys Hockey Schedule (remaining)
- Thursday, December 7 – vs. Tomahawk – Langlade County Multi-Purpose Building
- Saturday, December 9 – vs. KMMO – Langlade County Multi-Purpose Building
- Friday, December 15 – vs. Neenah/Hortonville/Menasha – Langlade County Multi-Purpose Building
- Saturday, December 16 – vs. Superior – Langlade County Multi-Purpose Building
- Tuesday, December 19 – vs. Northland Pines – Langlade County Multi-Purpose Building
- Friday, December 22 – at Appleton United – Appleton Family Ice Center
- Thursday, December 28 – vs. DC Everest – Langlade County Multi-Purpose Building
- Saturday, December 30 – vs. Bay Port – Langlade County Multi-Purpose Building
- Thursday, January 4 – at Rhinelander – Rhinelander Ice Arena
- Saturday, January 6 – at Somerset – Somerset Youth Civic Center
- Tuesday, January 9 – at Notre Dame – Cornerstone Ice Center
- Saturday, January 13 – at Verona – Verona Ice Center
- Friday, January 19/Sat. Jan. 20 – TBD – Wausau Tournament
- Thursday, January 25 – at Waupaca – Waupaca Expo Center
- Saturday, January 27 – vs. Fond du Lac Springs – Langlade County Multi-Purpose Building
- Tuesday, January 30 – vs. Lakeland – Langlade County Multi-Purpose Building
- Thursday, February 1 – at Northland Pines – Eagle River Recreation Center
- Saturday, February 3 – at West Salem – The Meat Locker
- Tuesday, February 6 – vs. Mosinee – Langlade County Multi-Purpose Building
- Friday, February 9 – at Chippewa Falls – Chippewa Falls Ice Arena