By Murray Gleffe
ASHWAUBENON—The Notre Dame boys’ hockey team tallied three goals in each of the first two periods to defeat Ashwaubenon 6-0 in a WIAA regional final game at the Cornerstone Community Ice Center Feb. 14.
Josh DeLange scored two goals, and Tritons goaltender Bo Buckley made 13 saves on net.
Parker Besaw stopped 19 shots for the Jaguars.
“Our top guys gave us a boost at the end of the first period to give us that cushion we needed,” said Notre Dame head coach Cory McCracken. “Sawyer to Brendan was the big one with just seconds to go. They read the play and it turned out great.”
Ashwaubenon and Notre Dame played even hockey for the first 6 minutes with no team lighting up the scoreboard.
The Jaguars took a bad penalty, and the Tritons struck 40 seconds later when Sawyer Scholl stuck back a rebound to give Notre Dame an early 1-0 lead.
Parker Dorn gave the Jaguars their best look of the opening period when he sent a wrister in on net. Buckley made the save look easy.
With 2:34 left in the first period, Scott Russell slashed to the center of the blue line and sent a slapshot past Besaw to give the Tritons a 2-0 lead.
It appeared Notre Dame would take a two-goal lead into the first intermission, but with five seconds left, the Tritons won a face-off and Scholl sent a beautiful cross to Brendan Poshak who punched the puck into the Jaguars net.
The third goal seemed to knock the wind out of the sails of the Jaguars, as the Tritons quickly tacked on three additional goals (DeLange twice, Allen) in the second period to go up 6-0 and enforce a running clock with 5:50 left in the middle stanza.
“Notre Dame is a very fast team and they made us pay,” said Ashwaubenon head coach, Matt Golden. “They made some great plays in each of the first two periods. You can’t fall behind, and play catch up with them.”
The final 22 minutes were played with minimal stoppages as the Tritons advanced to take on the Bay Port Pirates in a sectional semifinal game played next Tuesday, Feb. 18.
“We’ve played Bay Port twice already this year,” added McCracken about the hockey matchup. “The coaching staff and players all know each other. I’m anticipating a very physical game. We gave up one goal in each of the previous matchups with wins, but this is the one that matters.”
Ashwaubenon: 0, 0, 0—0
Notre Dame: 3, 3, 0—6
Shots on Goal:
Ashwaubenon: 6, 4, 3—13
Notre Dame: 11, 8, 6—25