By Murray Gleffe
DE PERE — One week after giving up 10 goals in a lopsided loss to Bay Port, the De Pere hockey team came back strong with a 3-1 victory over Ashwaubenon Jan. 15 at the De Pere Ice Center.
Henry Allen stopped 23 shots in goal for the Voyageurs, while Lincoln Simons made 21 saves for Ashwaubenon.
“After last week, we made sure our pace of play was at a high level in practice, “ said JP Coppo, De Pere head coach. “We made one small change with our lines, and we are liking it after getting the victory.”
Much of the first eight minutes were played with neither team getting a good look on goal.
It all changed when De Pere’s (6-7-1 overall) Tanner Newton took a feed from John Merkatoris and went top-shelf to beat Simons for a 1-0 lead.
“We had to get off to a good start in this game,” Coppo said. “We kept Ashwaubenon’s first line in check much of the night.”
The Jaguars (10-4) appeared to tie the contest after Kole Altergott wrapped a shot around the post.
Unfortunately, for Ashwaubenon, the head linesman ruled the puck had not crossed the goal line, and De Pere retained the lead heading into the second period.
With 13:51 remaining in the middle stanza, the Voyageurs struck again.
This time, Newton redirected a shot by Ian Markusen into the net for a 2-0 lead.
A few minutes later, Ashwaubenon’s Max Welsing peeled away from two De Pere defenders but was stoned by Allen going in for the goal.
“Henry made some great saves tonight,” Coppo said. “It was a huge confidence booster for him. He came out with a purpose and knew he had to step it up after getting yanked last weekend.”
With 6.9 seconds showing on the second-period clock, Tommy Vandelist fed Charlie Eggers, who slapped home a goal to give De Pere a 3-0 lead heading into the final period.
Ashwaubenon wasn’t about to go away quietly in the final 17 minutes.
Midway through the last period, Joey Hamielec got the Jaguars on the board to cut the margin to 3-1.
With less than two minutes remaining, Ashwaubenon pulled Simons and brought an extra attacker to the ice, but it couldn’t muster anything the rest of the way, as the Voyageurs captured the Fox River Classic Conference matchup.
“In the third, we decided to play our system and not run around with guys trying to do everything themselves,” said Matt Golden, Ashwaubenon head coach. “The goal was a result of a nice screen and puck tip into the net. We were playing good hockey up to this point. We will put this one behind us and move forward.”
Both teams will be back in action next weekend for the FRCC Tournament held at the Cornerstone Community Center in Ashwaubenon.
Ashwaubenon: 0, 0, 1 — 1
De Pere: 1, 2, 0 — 3