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Pirates take down Jags for FRCC bragging rights

Ashwaubenon hockey, Bay Port hockey
Bay Port’s Krisjanis Graholskis (20) tries to slip a shot past Ashwaubenon goalie Lincoln Simons. Rich Palzewic photo

By Rich Palzewic
Contributing Writer

ASHWAUBENON – With bragging rights on the line, the Ashwaubenon and Bay Port hockey teams came into Friday night’s Fox River Classic Conference (FRCC) game with a combined 11-1-0 record.

Spurred on by a big third period and a huge shots-on-goal advantage, the Pirates (6-1-0 overall, 2-0 FRCC) posted a 5-2 victory over the Jaguars (6-1-0, 1-1) at the Cornerstone Community Ice Center.

“Anytime you play a conference rival like Ashwaubenon, you’re in for a fight,” Bay Port coach

Mike Buchan said. “They had gotten off to a fantastic start this season, so we knew it would be a tough game.”

The Pirates ended the game with a 46-18 shots-on-goal advantage.

“(Ashwaubenon goalie Lincoln) Simons is fantastic,” Buchan said. “He was the conference player of the year last season. When you play him, you know it’s going to be tough. We wanted to get traffic in front of him, and we were able to use some of his own players as screens a few times.”

Bay Port’s Sam Lyons (71) looks to pass with Ashwaubenon’s Jackson Lampereur (9) defending. Rich Palzewic photo

In an entertaining first period, Ashwaubenon jumped ahead 1-0 less than a minute into the game on a goal by Isaac Therrien (Seymour High School).

His shot got past Bay Port goalie Devin Rustlie’s right shoulder. “We were lazy on the faceoff that led to the goal,” Buchan said. “Ashwaubenon was faster and stronger than us (in the beginning) and were ready to go.”

The Jaguars had a chance to increase their lead a few minutes later when the Pirates took back-to-back penalties, but the 5-on-3 advantage was killed off by Bay Port.

In a sloppy sequence, an Ashwaubenon player was sent to the box for a five-minute, checking-from-behind penalty.

Any advantage the Pirates had was wiped out by their own penalty about a minute later – creating 4-on-4 play.

After another Jaguars penalty a minute later, Bay Port eventually had its own 5-on-3 advantage when its original penalty in the sequence elapsed.

With plenty of open ice, Pirates captain Sam Lyons blasted a one-timer from the blue line past Simons (Pulaski) to even the game at 1-1.

The tying goal came with four minutes remaining in the opening period.

“Sam had fanned on a shot before that,” Buchan said. “When he got the opportunity, he didn’t miss again – that was a fantastic shot. That shifted the momentum and gave us a big lift.”

From a shot-on-goal perspective, Bay Port dominated the first 17 minutes of play – outshooting Ashwaubenon, 19-8.

Things stayed even until late in the second period when Bay Port’s Eliott Mikesch made it 2-1 on the power play.

The Jaguars had taken a penalty only 19 seconds earlier.

The Pirates again dominated the shots on goal in the middle period – outshooting Ashwaubenon, 16-4.

If the Jaguars had any hopes of a comeback, that was essentially ended when Bay Port’s Nick Voss ripped a wrist shot top shelf over Simons’ left shoulder only 8 seconds into the third period.

“That’s the fastest goal I’ve scored so far,” Voss said. “We started working on that faceoff play this week. Will (Lyons) won the faceoff, and then I beat one defender.”

Ryan Hilbert scored the Pirates’ third power-play goal of the night with 10:27 remaining in the game to bump the advantage to 4-1.

The Jaguars made it 4-2 when Jackson Lampereur scored on a mini breakaway with a pair of Bay Port defenders trailing close by.

Voss then ended the scoring with a 5-on-3 power-play goal with two minutes left.

“We’ve been working on our 5-on-3 power play all year,” Voss said. “Our power play has been on fire all season. Ashwaubenon hadn’t been scored on the PK (penalty kill) all season before tonight, then we put four in on them.”

In six games played this season, Voss has eight goals and nine assists for 17 points. Bay Port was 4-for-7 on the power play and is a whopping 15-for-29 on the season – a 52% success rate.

“It’s great to have those power-play goals, but I think we can be even crisper on those,” Buchan said. “I’m glad we got the goals, but we definitely have things to work on there.”

Sam and Will Lyons each grabbed a pair of assists for the Pirates.

It was Sam’s team-leading 12th and 13th helpers of the season.

Team facts

• So far this season, the Pirates are outscoring their opponents, 42-10.

• Ashwaubenon entered the game having outscored its opponents, 30-1. Included in that total were five consecutive shutouts to begin the season.

• Ashwaubenon is a co-op team comprised of players from three different area high schools. The squad has 12 rostered varsity players from Pulaski, another six from Ashwaubenon and four from Seymour.

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