A lack of scoring sure didn’t mean a lack of suspense in the Lakeland girls hockey team’s 1-0 victory over Black River Falls for senior/parents night on Saturday, Jan. 2.

Back and forth the two teams went all night in a game, featuring thrilling offensive shots and fantastic goalie play by both teams.  

The first two periods were scoreless as Lakeland’s Anna Maulson and Black River Falls’ Josie Mathison were unstoppable.   

In the first period Mathison stopped four shots on goal while Maulson stopped five. In the second, Mathison stopped five shots while Maulson had to stop nearly three times as many as she had in the first, thanks in large part to a long stretch when Lakeland was hit with a slew of penalties.

Lakeland had to kill four power plays in the second period and one time they had three girls in the penalty box at once.

Each time the Thunderbirds came away unscathed.

“It was huge. They played their guts out, all of them,” Lakeland head coach Steve Bucklew said. “Killing those five on threes, it was just a lot of work put out.”

Entering the third period the game was still tied 0-0, and Lakeland came out on the attack. The T-Birds dominated possession in the third and began knocking and knocking on the door.  

At 7:11 into the third, Callie Johnson finally broke it down and scored the games only goal off assists from Kate Vizanko and Asucena Boyer, to give Lakeland the  1-0 win.  

“It’s kind of the win we’ve been looking for all year. A win against a ranked team that we knew we could play with,” Bucklew said. “Playing with a lead is as tough as anything. We’ve struggled a little bit being able to finish the deal in some of these games so the clock couldn’t count down fast enough I’ll tell you that.

Maulson finished the game with 23 saves on 23 shots on goal. Mathison finished with 21 saves on 22 shots on goal.  

With the win Lakeland improves to 7-13 overall and they are currently 4-2 in the Great Northern Conference.

The T-Birds are in second place behind Northland Pines who are 7-0 atop of the GNC.

Lakeland next played the Northern Edge at the Rhinelander ice arena past deadline. Coverage will be in Friday’s paper.  

Jacob Friede may be reached at jacob@lakelandtimes.com or sports@lakelandtimes.com.