By Murray Gleffe
ASHWAUBENON — The Bay Port boys’ hockey team stormed back from a two-goal, third-period deficit to defeat Ashwaubenon 5-4 in a Fox River Classic Conference game Dec. 12 at the Cornerstone Community Ice Center.
“We didn’t panic in the third period,” said Mike Buchan, Bay Port head coach. “We thought we were the better team playing 5-on-5 hockey, and fortunately, we got a couple of key bounces to go our way down the stretch.”
With the game tied 4-4 late in the third period, both teams were at even-strength.
The Pirates got a fortuitous bounce of the puck off the boards, which led to Ty Froelich breaking away from two Jaguars’ defensemen.
Froelich made two moves before putting in the game-winning goal past Ashwaubenon goalie Lincoln Simons with 2:26 remaining.
“We let our emotions get the best of us and didn’t handle adversity well,” said Matt Golden, Ashwaubenon head coach. “Hats off to Bay Port for finishing the way it did.”
Simons made 29 saves, while Marcus Niemi stopped 21 for the Pirates.
Eighteen combined penalties were called for a total of 36 minutes.
After a couple of good looks by each team, Bay Port took a penalty with 8:38 remaining in the first period.
Forty-three seconds later, Kole Altergott took a pass on the right wing from Jaden Madel and sent in a power-play goal to give the Jaguars a 1-0 lead.
It was short-lived, however, as the Pirates took the ensuing faceoff and scored on a put-back by Elliot Mikesch.
Ashwaubenon ran into further problems near the end of the first period when Preston Winkler and Cooper Routheau were each sent to the penalty box for cross-checking and hooking, respectively, setting up a 5-on-3 power play for Bay Port.
The Pirates took advantage when Sean Samels scored 10 seconds into the two-man advantage for a 2-1 lead after one.
The second period saw each team log major penalty minutes in this crosstown rivalry.
With 10:32 remaining in the second, the Jaguars evened the score at 2-2 when Teig Driessen took a pass from Caden Bartelme and sent in a slapper from center-ice.
It was the only goal of the middle period.
“Both teams spent lots of time in the box in the second period, and it wasn’t clean hockey,” said Buchan. “The officials called it close and didn’t want things to escalate.”
Ashwaubenon found the net early in the third when Caden VanDuyse scored an even-strength goal.
Three minutes later, the Jaguars went up 4-2 with 13:57 remaining after Altergott tallied his second goal of the game.
It appeared Ashwaubenon was in control, but the tide turned when Logan VanDuyse was sent to the penalty box, and Aidan Fahey scored a power-play goal for Bay Port to cut the deficit to one.
With about four minutes left, the Jaguars, once again, went down a man.
Bay Port’s Sam Komoroske made Ashwaubenon pay with a goal.
His shot went off a defender’s skate and got redirected into the net to tie the game at 4-4.
Bay Port: 2, 0, 3 — 5
Ashwaubenon: 1, 1, 2 — 4
Shots on Goal:
Pirates: 14, 10, 10 – 34
Jaguars: 6, 8, 11 – 25