Scholl’s short-handed goal lifts Notre Dame to sectional final
By Murray Gleffe
ASHWAUBENON — Sawyer Scholl said he knew his hockey team needed a lift after the first period.
With the score deadlocked at 1-1, Scholl intercepted a puck and notched a short-handed goal to put Notre Dame Academy up for good.
The Tritons carried the momentum the final two periods in a 6-1 victory over Bay Port in a WIAA Division 1 sectional semifinal game Feb. 25 at the Cornerstone Community Ice Center in Ashwaubenon.
Notre Dame advanced to play Beaver Dam Friday, Feb. 28, at the BlueLine Ice Center in the sectional final.
The winner will advance to the state tournament March 5-7 in Madison.
“We love being in the environment of playing the best teams,” said Cory McCracken, Notre Dame head coach. “Our senior group has been through this a couple of years now, and they are not new to this. When the lights are the brightest, the kids and coaches relish it.”
Bo Buckley made 24 saves in net for Notre Dame, while Marcus Niemi stopped 35 shots for Bay Port.
With 5:19 remaining in the opening period, the Tritons struck first.
Callan Budinger ripped a slap shot past Niemi to give Notre Dame an early one-goal lead.
Near the end of the period, Tritons forward Eli Canadeo was sent to the box for a five-minute major penalty, and the Pirates took advantage.
Thirty-two seconds into the power play, Bay Port’s Jack Chilson sent a wrister into the back of the net to even the score at 1-1 after Buckley was screened on the play.
Bay Port seemed to ride the momentum of the power play into the second period, but it changed in an instant.
With under a minute remaining on the power kill, Scholl netted the short-handed goal to give the Tritons a 2-1 lead.
“We needed to use the opportunity to our advantage and didn’t,” said Mike Buchan, Bay Port head coach. “It was the turning point in the game. They got a short-handed goal because we were puck watching, and it hurt us.”
The Pirates continued to self-destruct later in the period with two tripping penalties, and it cost them in both situations.
Scholl notched his second goal of the game to put Notre Dame up 3-1, and Brendan Poshak his first of the game to put the Tritons up 4-1 heading into the final period.
“We knew if we kept our composure, we would be fine,” said Scholl. “We have keys we stick to every game, and we got a couple of fortunate bounces tonight.”
Josh DeLange and Poshak added goals in the final period for the final margin.
“It was a big momentum swing to score one man down early in the second period,” said McCracken. “Bay Port was coming off a goal late in the first period, and I thought we did a good job of attacking their zone despite being on the power kill. It’s advance and move on now. We have a big game versus Beaver Dam Friday.”
Bay Port: 1, 0, 0—1
Notre Dame: 1, 3, 2—6
Shots on Goal:
Pirates: 9, 9, 7—25
Tritons: 12, 15, 14—41