Niemi gets shutout victory for Pirates
By Murray Gleffe
DE PERE — Goalie Marcus Niemi stopped every shot sent his way in Bay Port’s 4-0 Fox River Classic Conference victory over De Pere Dec. 18 at the De Pere Ice Center.
“Marcus played great,” said Mike Buchan, Bay Port head coach. “He was zoned in from the get-go. You could tell in warm-ups he was going to be there for us. Fortunately, for us, he played great, because as a team, I don’t think we came out very well, but our goaltender made save after save.”
The Pirates got off to a flying start.
With about 12 minutes remaining in the first period, Samuel Lyons was the recipient of a bouncing puck in front of the net.
He jammed it past Voyageurs’ goaltender Henry Allen to make it 1-0.
Bay Port took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission when Tyler Brady went top-shelf with 3:26 remaining.
“We gave him (Tyler) the player-of-the group tonight,” Buchan said. “He was our best player on the ice, and if he keeps playing well, good things will continue to happen.”
The Pirates continued to dominate the offensive end to start the second period.
Carl Cano took a pass from Alex Voss on a 2-on-1 rush, and Cano easily pushed the puck past Allen for a 3-0 lead.
Entering the last 17 minutes, the visitors had only one penalty, but it all changed in the final period.
“We weren’t too intense in the first 34 minutes,” Buchan said. “The kids brought the intensity to the third, and sometimes things (penalties) happen.”
The Voyageurs had a 5-on-3 opportunity three minutes in, but could only muster two shots on goal, which Niemi easily stopped.
Late in the third, a 6-on-4 chance arose after De Pere pulled its goaltender, but the Pirates stifled the attempt.
Sean Samels added an empty-net goal with 2 seconds remaining for Bay Port.
“I’m disappointed to see wasted opportunities like those slip away,” said John Coppo, De Pere head coach. “We couldn’t seem to control our game throughout the entire thing. Bay Port is a team where you need to take advantage of mistakes when they allow them to happen.”
Both teams are back in action tonight, Saturday, Dec. 19, as they step out of conference.
Bay Port will host Hartland Arrowhead, while De Pere will travel to Mequon Homestead.
Bay Port: 2, 1, 1 — 4
De Pere: 0, 0, 0 — 0