Foth nets game-winner for Voyageurs in victory
By Murray Gleffe
ASHWAUBENON – The De Pere Voyageurs boys’ hockey team had only one win in its first eight games of the 2021-22 season.
That changed Dec. 17 when Garrett Foth netted the game-winner with 3:24 remaining as De Pere defeated Ashwaubenon 2-1 in a Fox River Classic Conference game at the Cornerstone Community Ice Center.
“It’s a huge uplift for our squad,” De Pere Head Coach JP Coppo said. “We played a full complete game against a gifted Ashwaubenon team. They had seven straight wins coming in, and for us to pull this off was a big boost – a big feather in our cap.”
The game featured only two penalties in 51 minutes of hockey.
After a scoreless opening period where the Voyageurs (2-6-1 overall, 2-1 FRCC) outshot the Jaguars (7-2-0, 2-1) by a significant margin, De Pere’s AJ Butrymowicz led a 2-on-1 attack early in the second period, only to see Ashwaubenon goalie Lincoln Simons make an around-the-world glove save.
Halfway through the middle period, the Jaguars thought they scored, but Caden VanDuyse’s shot hit the crossbar to keep the game scoreless.
With 7:46 left in the second period, Martin Blaha got De Pere on the board when he went between two white sweaters and stuffed a rebound home for a 1-0 lead.
However, a minute later, Jack Welsing was sent to the box for slashing, and Ashwaubenon went a man up.
The Jaguars evened the score at 1-1 on the power play after Teig Driessen fed a cutting VanDuyse, who beat De Pere goalie Keegan Handrick.
“That was a reflection moment for our group,” Coppo said after Ashwaubenon scored. “Are you going to lie down and not get the momentum back? We did a great job of not letting their goal define us.”
De Pere held a 20-12 advantage with shots on goal through two periods and added to that total early in the third.
Four minutes into the final period, Evan Ott, Foth and Lucas Bartelt had a 3-on-zero flurry after an Ashwaubenon giveaway.
Again, Simons was up to the task, stacking his pads to make the save.
With 3:24 remaining, Foth got open at the blue line after an Ashwaubenon turnover.
His slapshot caught Simons off guard and went into the net to give De Pere a 2-1 lead.
“I saw the turnover happen,” Coppo said. “Garrett (Foth) was gapped up nicely. He fired the puck on net. I don’t think he was expecting it to go in. He caught Lincoln (Simons) off-balance where it caught that open, top corner. It’s what you practice, and it paid off tonight.”
With 1:13 left, Ashwaubenon Head Coach Matt Golden pulled Simons for an extra attacker.
Preston Winkler got a great look from the wing with less than a minute remaining, but his shot was deflected at the last second, and the Voyageurs held on for the victory.