By Robert Whitmire
The SPASH Panthers dropped a 2-1 decision to Appleton United, the top-ranked boys hockey team in the state, Friday night at the K.B. Willett Arena.
The game was the second of the evening kicking off the 18th annual Community Parks Hockey Classic.
SPASH was on the board early recording an even strength goal at just 29 seconds into period one. Cole Caufield found the back of the net for the Panthers with assists from Brock Caufield and Jarrett Jones.
Appleton United took the ice in period two on the power play and evened the score at 1-1 scoring at 1:11 of the period. The visitors tallied their second power play goal of the period at the 11:10 mark for the 2-1 advantage.
Panther Goalie Phil Trzebiatowski recorded 19 saves for the game and the Panthers put twenty shots on goal. Appleton United improved its season record to 14-0 while the Panthers dropped to 6-4. SPASH returns to action tonight at 7:15 PM against Waupaca in the final game of the tournament. Appleton United takes the ice at 5:00 PM vs. Mosinee.
The Panthers return to Wisconsin Valley Conference action Tuesday, January 12, when they play host to D.C. Everest. The puck will drop at 7:45 PM. Wausau East will come to town Thursday, January 14 for a 7:00 PM start. Both games are at the K.B. Willett Ice Arena.