Poshak, Roberts help lead Tritons over Pirates
By Murray Gleffe
ASHWAUBENON — Notre Dame Academy’s Brendan Poshak scored two second-period goals to help lead the Tritons hockey team to a 4-1 Fox River Classic Conference victory over Bay Port Jan. 2 at the Cornerstone Community Center in Ashwaubenon.
Xander Roberts stopped 23 shots in goal for Notre Dame, while Marcus Niemi corralled 11 for the Pirates.
“Xander has been good for us this year,” said Cory McCracken, Notre Dame head coach. “Lots of Bay Port’s shots came off the power play, and he read the puck well on those looks. We’ve become an undisciplined team at times this season, but our power kill was good in leading us to the victory.”
After a scoreless first period which saw the Pirates get more chances on the offensive end, the Tritons (10-1 overall) struck with 9:58 left in the second period when Brenden Gruber scored for a 1-0 lead.
A couple of minutes later Bay Port’s Sean Samels was sent to the box for cross-checking, and Poshak scored 16 seconds into the power play for a 2-0 advantage.
“We got our legs under us in the second period,” said McCracken. “We got on some loose pucks down low, which is a better piece of our game. We got momentum, we pushed it hard and gave ourselves a nice lead to work with.”
The No. 2-ranked Tritons didn’t stop there.
With about five minutes remaining in the middle stanza, Hunter Bill sent Poshak a nice cross, and he beat Niemi to make it 3-0.
The Pirates (7-2) weren’t about to go down quietly.
After Notre Dame’s George Wied was sent to the box for tripping, Bay Port’s Carl Cano ripped a blast past Roberts to make it 3-1 heading into the final period.
“We got a blue-collar group who came to play tonight,” said Mike Buchan, Bay Port head coach. “Carl got a goal, which we badly needed at that point. It’s unfortunate we maybe didn’t get the bounces we needed in those next 10 minutes or so. Notre Dame is a good team, and you can’t make mistakes, or they’ll score on you quick.”
The Pirates had two good looks on the power play to start the third period, but then the momentum quickly shifted as Bill came racing out of the penalty box and scored to give Notre Dame a 4-1 lead.
“We play the schedule we do for a reason,” added McCracken. “We have Fondy Springs and USM (University School of Milwaukee) in the next two games, which are top teams in the state. We want to be tested and to grow as a team.”
Notre Dame: 0, 3, 1 — 4
Bay Port: 0, 1, 0 — 1