Northland Pines goalie Ashlynn Boxrucker stopped 19-of-20 shots on the evening to help the Northland Pines Eagles girls hockey team escape Rhinelander with a 2-1 win over their rival Northern Edge last week.

The win came amidst what’s been a difficult period for the Pines team, who according to their coach have been battling through injury and illness, still.

“Just when we think we are going to get some kids back we lose a couple more,” coach Jeff Stebbeds said. “I am sure teams all over have been dealing with the same things.”

Scoring first has been key in Pines’ success this season. It was at Rhinelander, too.

“It’s happened in our last three wins,” said Stebbeds. “It is much easier playing with that lead, rather than digging ourselves out of a hole all the time.”

Halle Kerner got the first goal on assists from Madison Stebbeds and Mallory Schmidt to score a short-handed goal just five minutes into the game, putting Pines up 1-0.

Pines was then able to kill two more penalties across the remaining 12 minutes of the first period before the Edge cracked the scoring column on the power play in the second with a Taylor Heleniak goal that made it 1-1.

It didn’t stay that way for long as Pines got the offensive attack with just under four minutes to play in the second, and found Grace Wittkopf in front as she deposited her 13th goal of the year, breaking the tie and putting Pines in front 2-1. Assisting on the play was Cassidy Sternhagen.

A one-goal lead was all Ashlyn Boxrucker would need, as she turned away the remaining 16 shots on goal to preserve the win.

In all Boxrucker stopped 19-of-20 shots in picking up the win. Pines only out-shot the Edge squad by five.

“It is great keeping this momentum going,” said Stebbeds following the win. “It’s important for us to be building confidence up going into our final stretch of the season. This team is proving that they can be dangerous in the playoffs.”

Pines was scheduled to hit the road last Friday and Saturday with games set at Chippewa Falls and Superior, however another bout of illness struck the team which canceled those plans. The team was also supposed to host Medford, Jan. 24. That game got rescheduled for Jan. 31 at 6 p.m.

Next up for Pines will be a game Saturday at the Dome as the Green Bay East Co-op comes to town for a 1 p.m. matinee.