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Tritons ring in New Year with victory

By Murray Gleffe

ASHWAUBENON — Hours before embarking on a new decade, the No. 2 ranked Notre Dame Academy boys’ hockey team finished 2019 in style.

The Tritons, coming off their first loss of the season against Verona, thoroughly dominated Bay Port 6-1 in the Fox River Classic Conference opener at the Cornerstone Community Ice Center Dec. 31.

Bo Buckley made 16 saves in net for Notre Dame.

“We want to take care of any opportunities on the power play we get, “ said Notre Dame head coach Cory McCracken. “We regrouped today, had a good game plan in place and it’s nice to get two points to start the conference season.”

Bay Port and Notre Dame tangled in boys’ hockey Dec. 31. Murray Gleffe Photo

Notre Dame showed no ill-effects starting the game from the 3-1 loss against Verona three days earlier.

Bay Port took an early penalty, and Tritons’ forward Brendan Poshak made the Pirates pay by utilizing his quick skating to knock home a power-play goal 68 seconds into the game.

“When I’m out there, it’s all about my teammates [Callan Budinger and Isaac Rentmeester],” said Poshak. “We move pucks fast, and I went to the net hard on the first one and beat their goaltender on the right side.”

The Pirates received their first good look of the night with 7:48 left in the opening period after Carl Cano had a breakaway chance, but he was stymied by Buckley at the cage.

Notre Dame took a 2-0 lead when Eli Canadeo went top shelf near the end of the first period.

Like the first period, the Tritons tallied their third goal a little more than a minute into the middle stanza when Brenden Gruber took a pass and laced a slap shot past Pirates’ goaltender Marcus Niemi.

“We knew what they were going to do, and we didn’t execute the game plan,” said Bay Port head coach Mike Buchan. “Our special teams is hurting us right now. We have been on the wrong side of it all season. We have an opportunity now to move forward and get better.”

The onslaught continued for Notre Dame when Scott Russell tallied his first goal of the season to give the Tritons a 4-0 lead with 10:02 left in the second period.

The lone bright spot for Bay Port came five minutes later when Nick Messerschmidt punched in a goal off a broken play to cut the Notre Dame margin to three goals.

It was all Notre Dame in the final period.

Poshak added his second goal of the night, and Riley Onell got into the action scoring the sixth goal for the decisive victory.

“Any time you’re going to have success at the high school level, you need three or four lines,” added McCracken. “Guys like Bryce [Eberhardt], Quinn [Koszarek], Eli [Canadeo] and Scott [Russell] do lots of great stuff, which doesn’t show up on the score sheet. Now we have to get back to work and try to improve each day.”

Box score

Bay Port: 0, 1, 0—1

Notre Dame: 2, 2, 2—6

Shots on goal

Pirates: 9, 4, 4—17

Tritons: 12, 5, 12—29

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