Tritons win FRCC hockey championship
By Murray Gleffe
ASHWAUBENON — With the score deadlocked at one apiece after two periods, the Notre Dame Academy boys’ hockey team showed why it’s the No. 1-ranked team in the state.
The Tritons scored three third-period goals to defeat Bay Port 4-1 in the Fox River Classic Conference championship at the Cornerstone Community Ice Center Jan. 25.
“We started to see our game come together toward the end of the second period,” said Notre Dame head coach Cory McCracken. “[Goalie Marcus] Niemi made some nice saves for Bay Port, and we kept to our game plan and saw the results in the final period.”
Bo Buckley made 17 saves in net for Notre Dame (16-1 overall), while Niemi stopped 30 shots.
The Pirates (8-12 overall) struck 2:20 into the contest.
Jay Ribar sent a crossing pass to Sean Samels, who beat Buckley for a 1-0 lead.
With a distinct shot advantage, the Tritons were able to even the game at one apiece after Sawyer Scholl laced a slapper past Niemi with 8:13 remaining in the first period.
With the score tied at one heading into the middle period, the puck remained in the Bay Port zone for much of the first six minutes.
However, Niemi was up to the test in goal for Bay Port.
The Tritons held a 22-15 shots-on-goal advantage heading into the final period.
The Pirates killed off an early power play by the Tritons in the third period, but with 7:30 remaining, Notre Dame’s Eli Canadeo went top shelf for a 2-1 lead.
They didn’t stop there.
A little more than two minutes later, Notre Dame added a third score, with Riley ONell garnering a breakaway goal on Niemi.
The Tritons added an empty-netter with less than a minute remaining to clinch the FRCC title.
“I like having fun playing in big games,” said Buckley. “I don’t put too much pressure on myself and do whatever it takes to help my teammates succeed. Our goal every year is to win a state championship. We have big games against University School of Milwaukee, Fond du Lac Springs and our trip to Detroit to prepare us for the postseason.”
Bay Port: 1, 0, 0—1
Notre Dame: 1, 0, 3—4
Shots on Goal:
Pirates: 6, 9, 3—18
Tritons: 11, 11, 12—34