By Robert Whitmire
The SPASH boys hockey team rolled into the WIAA tournament Thursday night at the K.B. Willett Arena.
The team has won 13 of its last 14 games and are looking to advance on the road to Madison.
The Panthers, seeded third in the Wausau West Sectional walked away with a convincing 8-1 win over Northland Pines and will move on to face Antigo Tuesday, Feb. 23 in the sectional semi-final. Scheduled game time at the Langlade County Ice Arena is 7:00 pm. The Panthers dropped an earlier decision to Antigo, 7-2.
The Panthers scored early and often to dash any hopes of a Northland Pines upset with senior Sam Medo finding the back of the net at the 2:06 mark on an assist from Jarett Jones. Medo scored again at the 8:26 mark on the Power Play with the Assist to Grant Czaikowski to put SPASH up 2-0
The Caufield brothers, Cole and Brock, had the hot hand all night. Cole lit up the board with three goals and Brock added a goal and assist for SPASH. Cole finished the regular season atop the scoring leaders list in the Wisconsin Valley Conference with 16 goals and 18 assists. Brock finished second on the lists ringing up 13 goals and 12 assists and led the conference with three short-handed goals.
Junior Goalie Phil Trzebiatowski stood as a brick wall in front of the Panther net finishint the night with 26 saves.
First Period: Sam Medo (asst. Jarett Jones, 2:06, SP 1-NP 0); Sam Medo (asst. Grant Czaikowski, 8:26, PP, SP 2-NP 0), Treyton Zinda (asst. Carter Smigaj, 11:52, SP 3 NP 0); Cole Caufield (asst. Brock Caufield and Jarett Jones, 13:09, sh, SP 4 NP 0).
Second period: Brock Caufield, 2:27, (PP, SP 5 NP 0); Jacob Beilke 6:21 SP 6 NP 0; NP Tyler Hunt (assts. Spencer, Wittkopf, 11:08, SP 6 NP 1);
Third period: Cole Caufield (asst. Max Bancker, 4:41, SP 7 NP 1); Cole Caufield (asst. Phil Trzebiatowski, 7:47, SP 8 NP 1).
SPASH sits at 19-5-0 overall on the season and finished Wisconsin Valley Conference play at 9-2, a game behind conference champion Wausau West (10-1).