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Tritons score three late goals to shock Pirates

By Murray Gleffe


ASHWAUBENON—High School hockey is 51 minutes long.

Fortunately, for Notre Dame, it’s not any shorter as the Tritons scored three goals in just over two minutes in the final period to erase a 3-1 deficit and go on and defeat the Bay Port Pirates by a final of 4-3, Feb. 19, in a game played at Cornerstone Community Center.

“We pushed real hard in that final period, “ said Notre Dame coach, Cory McCracken. “We went back to the basics and went to the net hard. Max (McNeil) got the first one in the last 17 and it seemed to set us off in the right direction. We finally started playing as a group of five and we’re very fortunate to come out on the winning end tonight. ”

Tyler Brady, Bryson Hyska, and Jack Chilson tallied goals for Bay Port, while Callan Budinger (2), Cole Whatley, and Max McNeil scored for Notre Dame.

Pirates goaltender Marcus Niemi made 36 saves, and Bo Buckley 21 for the Tritons.

The Tritons peppered the nets right from the opening face-off as Spencer Allen sent a wrister in just seconds into the game. Niemi was up for the save.

With 9:34 remaining in the opening period, the Pirates got a break on a tripping penalty called on the Tritons. The shots on goal were a staggering 12-1 for Notre Dame to that point.

No matter, as the Pirates took full advantage of the power play as Brady knocked one past Buckley to give Bay Port an early 1-0 lead.

The Tritons, however, struck back just 32 seconds later on a goal by Budinger that went five-hole versus Niemi.

The score remained deadlocked at one apiece until Hyska struck in the opening minutes of the second period when he sent a slapper past the Tritons goaltender to reclaim the lead for Bay Port.

The Pirates took the one goal advantage into the final period and once again capitalized on the power play with 12:21 left in the game.

Chilson took a beautiful feed and sent home the shot to give Bay Port a 3-1 lead and put them on the precipice of a Sectional Final.

It was at that moment that Notre Dame knew their season was on the line and they didn’t want to go home just quite yet. A switch seemed to flip instantaneously.

Even after a goal was waved off for being in the crease, the Tritons scored not one, not two, but three goals from 8:16 to 6:10 to stun the Pirates team and cheering contingency to take a 4-3 lead.

“It all happened very fast,” said Bay Port head coach, Mike Buchan. “Their second and third line really produced in that final period. We held their top guy to zero points on the score sheet but just couldn’t get it done.”

With 1:24 remaining, the Pirates pulled their goaltender to go on the attack.

Aaron Ribar and Nick Messerschmidt got good looks in the final minute but couldn’t find pay-dirt as the Tritons advance to Friday’s Sectional Final with Neenah.

“Every group is special and this year’s is no different,” added Buchan. “These seniors will go on to do great things. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

Box Score:

Bay Port: 1, 1, 1—3

Notre Dame: 1, 0, 3—4

Shots on Goal:

Pirates: 6, 7, 11—24

Tritons: 17, 12, 11—40

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Bay Port's No. 20 Tyler Brady scores the first goal for the Pirates. Tritons goaltender No. 1 Bo Buckley tries to get a clear view of the puck
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