Sheboygan co-op loses to Waupun, 2-1, in playoffs
by Dave Boehler
Beacon Sports Editor
SHEBOYGAN – An old nemesis helped put an end to the Sheboygan co-op hockey team’s season Wednesday.
Ninth-seeded Waupun defeated the eighth-seeded Red Raiders, 2-1, in the first round of the playoffs after the winning goal was scored on an extended power play in the final period.
“What hurt us early in the season were the penalties, and unfortunately it bit us here,” Sheboygan coach Joe Reinhart said. “That 5-minute penalty ultimately cost us the game.
“It also didn’t help that we weren’t passing the puck like we have been the last couple of weeks. We were off tonight. We came ready to play but we just didn’t execute.”
Sheboygan, which beat Waupun, 2-1, on Jan. 3, finishes with a 10-14-1 record after losing the opening game of the postseason for the second straight time.
Waupun (7-15-2) had just one win in its previous six games but allowed two goals or fewer for just the second contest this season.
It was hard for the Red Raiders to rally at the start of the third – they were already down, 1-0, thanks to a short-handed goal with 31 seconds left in the first – because they had to kill 4:48 of Luke McKinch’s head-contact penalty.
There was some hope Sheboygan would escape, however, as goalie Maclane Schick made six saves in the first 2:20 of the period.
“Max played well for us all year – actually both goalies have played well,” Reinhart said. “He’s always been spot-on in big games like this.”
But Waupun got its go-ahead goal with 14:02 left in the game, as Malachi Buchholz was left all alone in front of the net and was able to tap the puck in on a pass from Carter Schramm thanks to a breakdown on defense.
“We made a simple mistake and it cost us that goal,” Reinhart said.
Aaron Korpi got Sheboygan’s only goal just 46 seconds later on a long shot from the left wing near the blue line, and he admitted he really wasn’t even trying to score but just waste some time since the Warriors were still on the power play.
“I kind of just meant to dump it in, put it on net and got lucky,” Korpi said. “It was a hard shot. It went over the goalie’s top-left shoulder.”
Later, Sheboygan had 49 seconds of a power play, then a 2-minute man advantage and pulled its goalie with 1:12 remaining but could not tie the score.
Afterward, Reinhart thanked his four seniors, among other things in a somber locker room.
“We’re sorry we had to end it this way, but we started talking about getting ready for next season,” he said.