Hatchet pucksters win thrilling 8-7 season opener over Chequamegon: Dominic Zattera scores game winning goal, Cody Scholz gets hat trick
By Jed Buelow
Tomahawk Leader Co-Editor, Sports and Nature Editor
Do you believe in miracles?
If you were at SARA Park for Tomahawk hockey’s season opener Nov. 25, then you might have witnessed one, as the Hatchets and the Chequamegon Team S.E.A.L. proved yet again that miracles do happen on ice.
“What a way to start a season. We saw it all!,” stated Hatchet head coach Chris Bembinster. “We had moments of beauty and some nail biting moments, too.”
Tomahawk jumped out to the early lead as Dominic Zattera lit the lamp for the Hatchet’s first goal of the season 3:21 into period one. His big night was just getting started, as after Chequamegon tied the game at 1-1, Caleb Lund buried the puck in the back of the net on a pass from Zattera to put Tomahawk back ahead just over a minute into the second period.
Just over a minute later, Team S.E.A.L. sharp shooter Brandan BeBeau would re-tie the game with his second goal – one of four he had on an impressive night on the ice. Proving that hockey is a team sport, the Hatchets would finish out the second period with a statement. One of Tomahawk’s top defenders, Anthony Ierulli got on the scoreboard after lighting the lamp on a pass from C. Lund. After getting the assist, C. Lund would put Tomahawk ahead 4-2 after scoring on Zattera’s second assist on the night.
As miracles would go, Chequamegon would come screaming back in period three. BeBeau scored in the first minute of the period to cut the Hatchets’ lead to one before Cody Scholz lit the lamp to put Tomahawk back up 5-3 with his first goal of the season.
Seasons can be defined by what happened next. Team S.E.A.L. went on a run scoring four unanswered to take their first lead of the night 7-5. Just when it looked like Tomahawk might have ran out of gas Zach Friske and C. Scholz took over the game. Scholz deposited a pass from Friske at the 13:27 mark to cut the lead to one. And with just over two minutes to skate, the pair connected again to tie the game at seven apiece and send it into overtime.
Hats and cheers rained down as Scholz and his teammates celebrated his first hat trick of the season. Tomahawk would finish off the miracle a short time later. After scoring on a pass back in period one, C. Lund would return the favor in the extra period as D. Zattera lit the lamp to bury the hatchet and give Tomahawk the thrilling 8-7 barnburner win.
“The best part of the whole night, when it looked bad, this team pulled together and finished the game with a win,” coach Bembinster said. “This game definitely showed things we can get better at, and things and chemistry that are really working well for us. We now build from here and get better.”
Hatchet goalie Chris Callahan had 31 saves in the win. Chequamegon was penalized just once in the season opener while Tomahawk was called for four penalties.
After traveling to Merrill/East to take on the BlueJacks and falling by a score 6-0, the Hatchets are back in action this Thursday, Dec. 5 as they host Lakeland for a GNC tilt that begins at SARA Park at 7 p.m. Tomahawk then finishes out the week against Mosinee Friday, Dec. 6 at SARA Park at 7 p.m.