Tritons stave off Jaguars on ice
By Murray Gleffe
ASHWAUBENON — Three days after losing its first game of the season, the No. 2-ranked Notre Dame Academy hockey team rebounded with a hard fought, 5-3 victory over Ashwaubenon.
The Fox River Classic Conference tilt was played at the Cornerstone Community Center in Ashwaubenon.
The Tritons (7-1 overall) were coming off a 6-1 loss to Hudson Dec. 19 at the Resch Center in Green Bay.
“Any time you see a local team, it’s going to be a challenge,” said Cory McCracken, Notre Dame head coach. “There are lots of emotions attached to the game. We’re a young team trying to build an identity. It’s a matter of keeping self-discipline, but I thought we were sloppy. We are fortunate to get a win.”
The teams combined for 16 penalties for 43 minutes.
The rivalry reared its ugly head in the opening minutes, as both teams went to the penalty box.
Late in the first period, Notre Dame struck first.
Michael McIntee jammed home a rebound with 4:14 remaining for a 1-0 lead.
The Jaguars (7-3) could have dug themselves a greater hole, but they killed off a 5-on-3 Tritons power play to end the opening period.
Ashwaubenon stuck right with Notre Dame, and it paid dividends when Max Welsing took a pass from Ryan Gady and beat Notre Dame goaltender Xander Roberts after crashing into the net to even the score at 1-1.
The Jaguars’ momentum was halted a couple of minutes later after another penalty.
The Tritons capitalized on the power play with a goal by Joseph Coghlin with 8:32 left in the second period.
With less than a minute remaining in the middle period, Notre Dame tacked on another goal by Callan Budinger on a two-on-one rush for a 3-1 lead.
“Callan leads by example,” McCracken said. “He’s one of the more direct and competitive kids we have on this team. It should trickle back into our locker room, and other guys need to take a look and add a little intensity into their ice time.”
Ashwaubenon took back-to-back penalties in the first 90 seconds of the final period, which led to Hunter Bill tallying a 5-on-3 goal for a 4-1 Notre Dame advantage.
Ashwaubenon would stay resilient and not quit against the state-runner up from a year ago.
Caden Bartelme added a second goal, going top shelf, for the Jaguars with 8:43 remaining to make it 4-2.
Down the stretch, Ashwaubenon had its chances but couldn’t put the puck into the net until 9 seconds remained (Cooper Routheau goal) after pulling goalie Lincoln Simons.
“We played a great game tonight,” said Matt Golden, Ashwaubenon head coach. “Notre Dame got a couple more bounces. I thought our forecheck was outstanding. We knew we had to play a fast and physical game, and I think we did a nice job. We proved we can play with the top teams in the state.”
With Notre Dame’s lead at 4-3, it won the ensuing faceoff, and Joe Gerbitz found the empty net with 4 seconds showing on the clock for the final margin.
Roberts made 23 saves in net for the Tritons, while Simons stopped 21.
Notre Dame: 1, 2, 2 — 5
Ashwaubenon: 0, 1, 2 — 3