Appleton United Rallies to take down Stars
By Dustin Riese
In what was the first game of what is expected to be a unique and challenging high school hockey season, first year head coach Jeremy Olson got a chance to see firsthand how his kids wouldn’t handle things. Facing off with Badgerland Conference rival Appleton United to kick off the season, the Stars got off to a great start holding on to a 4-3 lead midway through the second period. From that point on it was all Appleton as they pestered Truett Wilson in goal to score three unanswered goals to close out the game with a 6-4 win. For the casual fan that loves scoring, this was the game for you as the Stars wasted no time getting things started. Nolan Lamers got things started just 17 seconds in taking assists from Connor Janssen and Johannes Ehfaelt-Gunnarsson for the quick 1-0 Stars lead. Three minutes later it was time for Gunnarsson to light the lamp as his unassisted goal gave the Stars a quick 2-0 lead. Clearly stunned by how fast the Stars opened the scoring, Appleton began to settle in using a pair of quick goals to tie things right back up. In a span of 1:02 on the clock, Max Thomas and Brendan Lemery beat Wilson in goal and just like that we had a 2-2 game. With the first period ending, Nolan Lamers controlled the puck into the Appleton end finding Janssen who took care of the rest giving the Stars a 3-2 lead after one. Much like the first period, offense was the story of the second, but it was Appleton getting on the board first. Just four minutes into the second, Appleton drew even once again as Tyler Heil took the Sam West and Ryder Hill assists to make things 3-3. Much like when Appleton tied things in the first period, the Stars quickly responded with Nolan Lamers taking the Janssen assist right before the nine-minute mark to put Fox Cities back in front 4-3. Unfortunately, that would be all the offense the Stars would generate as Luke Kelly stood tall the final period plus to finish the night with 19 saves in goal. Less than 20 seconds after the Stars took the lead, Dane Heindel tied things up 4-4 before Cam Dahl gave Appleton the lead for good 11 seconds later at 5-4. Down by a goal with one period to play, the Stars were desperate for some more offense after starting the game off on fire. Despite the defense conceding 17 shots in the final period, Wilson stood tall making 16 of his 38 saves in the final period doing his best to keep things close. Unfortunately for him, the Stars offense went stale getting just six shots up in the final frame with Appleton now dominating the pace of play. With less than five minutes to go and still clinging to the 5-4 lead, Heil put the game away taking the Thomas assist and putting it home for his second goal of the night and 6-4 Appleton lead. Fox Cities had some opportunities over the final few minutes, but nothing came of it as Appleton United moves to 2-0 on the season dropping the Stars to 0-1 with the 6-4 win. Nolan Lamers had a big night offensively for Fox Cities, putting home a pair of goals to go with an assist. Janssen added one goal and two assists of his own with Gunnarsson picking up the final goal and assist. Despite allowing six goals in the contest, Wilson was impressive in goal as he was hampered with 44 total shots stopping 38 of them. The Stars will be back in action this weekend for a pair of road contests against FRCC teams. Friday will see the Stars travel to take on Ashwaubenon with a Saturday matchup on the road against Bay Port. Both games are set to start around 7 PM and being played at Cornerstone Arena in Ashwaubenon.