Packers fall to Dodge County, work on getting past a rough patch

Published 10:18 pm Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The Austin boys hockey team is learning on the fly this season, but the team is still focused on improving, even after it lost to Dodge County 11-2 in Riverside Arena Tuesday.

The Wildcats (2-2 overall) jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first period and they stayed on the attack throughout the night. First-year goalie Brayden Klapperick stopped 29 shots for Austin, which had just nine shots on goal.

Klapperick and Austin freshman goalie Sam Eyre are not only first-year varsity goalies — they are first year goalies.

Austin’s Nick Dunlap challenges against the boards in the first period against Dodge County Tuesday night in Riverside Arena. Eric Johnson/

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“Our goalies are all first-year goalies,” Austin head coach Jason Merritt said. “They started playing three weeks ago when the season started. If you can find another team in the state of Minnesota that has that issue, I would like to talk to them because I don’t know if it’s ever happened before.“

Austin (0-4 overall) has allowed 38 goals in just four games to start the season, but the team has scored at least two goals in all of its games. Junior Garett Schaeffer has scored seven goals to start the season.

“I’ve been working hard, I’ve got to give it to a bunch of the guys on my line giving me the assists. I couldn’t do it without them” Schaeffer said. “It’s really early. We’re just going to keep working hard in practice. We’re going to work on our coverage and hope to get a lot better.”

Merritt said the Packers need to stay out of the penalty box and continue to grow if they want things to get better this winter.

“Our power play is clicking, but otherwise we’re struggling,” he said. “We’re not moving the puck in the right way. We’ve got the young guys coming up and they’re still learning what’s expecting of the. It’ll be a work in progress trying to get them up to speed and they found out what the speed of the game is tonight.”

Austin’s Jackson Egner challenges Dodge County’s Isaak Rogne during the first period Tuesday night in Riverside Arena. Eric Johnson/


Dodge County 5  3  3    11

Austin 0  2  0    2

First period

(DC) Gavin Giesler (Isaak Rogne, James McPeak) 9:35

(DC) Brenden Wolesky (Brody Lamb) 9:35

(DC) Charlie Blaisdell (Wolesky) (power play) 13:32

(DC) Wolesky (short handed) 15:40

(DC) Rogne (Cade Spreiter) (short handed) 16:42

Second period

(A) Gavin Johnson (Nick Dunlap, Jameson Johnson) 4:10

(DC) Rogne (short handed) (Charlie Blaisdell) 5:21

(A) Garett Schaeffer (power play) (Bubba Grunewald, Aidan Pepper) 6:11

(DC) Ethan Dale (power play) (Logan Gauthier, McPeak) 8:59

(DC) Spreiter (power play) (Blaisdell) 13:10

Third period

(DC) Caleb Purdue (power play) (Wolesky) 1:14

(DC) Purdue (Rogne, Spreiter) 2:25

(DC) Alex Kirmse (Conner Preston) 1:15

Shots: Austin — 9; DC — 40

Power plays: Austin — 1-for-6; DC — 4-for-6

Austin’s Cooper Guttormson follows the puck in the first period against Dodge County Tuesday night in Riverside Arena. Eric Johnson/