By Murray Gleffe
ASHWAUBENON—The Notre Dame Tritons got a quick goal off the opening face-off and went onto defeat the Bay Port Pirates by a final of 3-1 at the Cornerstone Ice Center (Jan. 24).
Brendan Poshak, who came into the game with a team-high 29 points, tallied two goals for the Tritons, and Spencer Allen had the other.
Aaron Ribar notched the lone goal for the Pirates.
Bo Buckley stopped 19 of 20 shots on goal for Notre Dame, while Marcus Niemi made 26 saves for Bay Port.
The Tritons didn’t waste any time as Poshak corralled the puck on the opening face-off and went in on Niemi and scored just 10 seconds into the game!
“We lost our assignment off the opening puck, and one of their better players stepped forward and put one in,” said Mike Buchan, Bay Port head coach. “We have to be alert right from the beginning.”
Just over a minute later, the Pirates answered back when Ribar took the puck from the left-wing, danced around the goal, and wrapped in a goal on Buckley who was caught off guard.
“I was happy at how we responded to even the game up,” Buchan added.
Midway through the first period Jake Boxer sent in a pair of slap shots that Buckley stopped in his mitt.
Tempers got going with 7:30 left in the opener after Nick Messerschmidt put a blinding hit on Tritons Reid Milton that sent him sprawling to the ice.
Notre Dame went on the power play and capitalized just 50 seconds in when Allen knocked home a goal off a rebound.
Things got even more interesting at the end of the first period after the Tritons went on a 5-3 advantage. The Pirates, however, killed off both penalties that carried over into the second period and trailed by the lone goal.
“We gave them too many looks on the power play tonight,” said Buchan. “Sooner or later a good team will hurt you.”
Once at full strength, Bay Port settled in and generated a couple nice looks by Bryson Hyska and Carl Cano but Buckley was stout in goal and didn’t let anything past him.
With 7:04 left in the middle period, the Tritons put a third and final goal of the night on the board after Poshak found the short-tight part of the net after sending in a wrister from a difficult angle.
With just over four minutes left till the second period intermission, a skirmish broke out in the Bay Port zone and multiple players were hauled off to the penalty box illustrating the intensity and magnitude of the game.
Each team generated a few good chances in the final period but neither was able to find the back of the net and the Tritons came away with a two-goal victory to remain in first place in the Fox River Classic Conference.
Tritons: 2, 1, 0—3
Pirates: 1, 0, 0—1
Shots on Goal:
Tritons: 9, 9, 11—29
Pirates: 8, 6, 6—20