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Phillips scores four as Wolverines roll

Wadena-Deer Creek’s Max Phillips drives towards the net trying to slide the puck past Morris/Benson Area’s Brady Bachman during the second period of Wadena-DC’s 6-2 victory over the Storm. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal1 / 2
Wadena-Deer Creek’s Josh Dykhoff kicks the puck away as traffic piles up in front of his net. Dykhoff finished with 23 saves on 25 shots in recording his first career varsity win. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal2 / 2

After a sluggish first period, the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines came alive with four straight goals en route to a 6-2 victory over Morris-Benson Area on Dec. 4 at the Wadena Ice Arena.

Max Phillips scored four times, while Justin Dykhoff and John Oberg found the net as well. Wadena-DC capitalized on three of its five power play opportunities in cruising to its third win of the season.

"I thought we did a lot of things well, but we still have a lot to work on yet," Wadena-DC head coach Scott Woods said. "We still have a lot of young guys out there. We have some good returners, but a lot of them are put in different positions, more prominent positions where they have to be out there in key faceoffs. I think we are still struggling with the puck where we are throwing it away a lot. I'd like to see a lot more patience with that, but that comes with time."

The Wolverines had some opportunities in the first period but took awhile to get on the attack. The spark for the Wolverines came after the Storm jumped ahead first, just 25 seconds into the second period. One of the reasons for the sluggish opening period was the pregame routine thrown off due to bus troubles for Morris-Benson Area.

"I think that got us going. We had a talk about that after the first period. We weren't really happy with our play," Woods said. "We looked kind of sluggish and there were a lot of distractions before. They didn't get here until really late and sometimes you get out of sync. We got out-worked in the first period. I think either way we were going to come out and play better in the second, but that goal go us going."

The line of Phillips, Colby Schertler and Lleyten Pettit accounted for 11 of the team's 17 points in the game. Phillips tallied four goals, Pettit had four assists, while Schertler helped on three goals. Phillips recorded the hat-trick in the second period and added an empty net goal in the third. Oberg recorded his first career varsity goal in the second period in the five-goal second period for Wadena-DC.

"We have talked about splitting them up, but we have done this over the years. Sometimes, you just keep riding it as long as they are scoring goals," Woods said of the play of the top line.

It was the fourth straight game the Wolverines received solid play from the net. Josh Dykhoff picked up his first career win as he stopped 23 of 25 shots. Him and Noah Stevens have alternated in the first four games and have combined to post a 2.25 goals against average.

The Wolverines are 3-1-0 overall and travel to Little Falls on Dec. 6 for a 7:30 p.m. tilt with the Flyers.

MBA 0 2 0--2

WDC 0 5 1--6

First Period

No Scoring

Second Period

MBA-Mike Halvorson, ES, (Brady Goff, Mathew Tolifson) :25

WDC-Max Phillips, ES, (Lleyten Pettit, Colby Schertler) 1:06

WDC-Justin Dykhoff, ES, (Tyler Reese) 3:58

WDC-Phillips, PP, (Schertler, Pettit) 4:45

WDC-Phillips, PP, (Wyatt Murray, Pettit) 6:45

MBA-Tolifson, PP, (Kolby Goff, Brady Goff) 9:22

WDC-John Oberg, PP, (Daunte Leiran, Dykhoff) 16:07

Third Period

WDC-Phillips, ES, EN, (Pettit, Schertler) 16:35

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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