Home » Sports » Ice Bears punch ticket to state

Ice Bears punch ticket to state

By Jordon Lawrenz
Following a 3-1 victory over the University School of Milwaukee Wildcats on Feb. 25, the Bay Area Ice Bears girls’ hockey team is state bound.
All three of the Ice Bears goals were scored in the first period at the Fond du Lac Blue Line Ice Center.
Before defeating the Wildcats, the Ice Bears took out the team that ended their season last year, the Fox Cities Stars, 2-1. After drawing the No. 1 seed in Sectional 3, two victories were all it took for the Ice Bears to punch their ticket to state in Middleton.
“We are all excited,” Ice Bears coach Joe Gerarden said. “The commitment, preparation and work has finally paid off to give us another opportunity to keep our season going for two more games. Just to be part of the experience to go to Madison is a great reward for these girls, coaches and families.”
Even though Gerarden’s squad is full of sophomores, they didn’t let the moment get to them.
“I would say they were pretty relaxed,” Gerarden said. “They have a confident ‘looseness’ about themselves.”
With the lights shining the brightest, the Ice Bears routine remained the same.
“We do our normal prep routines, music and warmups,” Gerarden said. “I think once we get to the rink in Madison that will change a bit but they are focused and ready.”
There’s no doubt that the Ice Bears were ready in the sectional championship. Julianne Bradford scored in the first eight minutes, followed by a pair of goals from Emily Bill, one of which being shorthanded.
Gerarden couldn’t have drawn up a better start than leading 3-0 in the first period.
“It was like a huge weight was lifted,” he said. “They could focus on little plays and it took the pressure off of making a mistake. We stuck to our plan and wore them out.”
All year long, the seniors have been stepping up and are the true role models on the team.
“Our seniors are really stepping up to help guide them through these big games and they understand that this could be the last game for some of their teammates, so they don’t want to let them down,” Gerarden said.
Now, the focus shifts to state. The Ice Bears are once again the top seed. They will be playing the Middleton Co-op, otherwise known as the Metro Lynx. That game takes place on March 2 at 4 p.m. at Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton. Following that game is a battle between No. 2-seeded Superior and No. 3-seeded Hudson. The winners will play in the state championship on March 4, with the puck slated to drop around 12:10 p.m.
This will not be the first time the Ice Bears are facing off against the Metro Lynx. Back on Jan. 31, the Ice Bears defeated the Lynx in Madison, 7-1. While the Lynx jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first, the Ice Bears scored five in the second and added two in the third, scoring seven unanswered goals.
“I’m sure this game will be different than the first one,” Gerarden said. “However, we have a confidence to build off for game prep.”
This has been a season that Gerarden will never forget.
“Win or lose, this has been a special group of girls,” he said. “They bought into the ‘Me>We,’ and can see that it takes a team to be great and not just one or two players. Keeping the balance of work, fun and play day in day out has helped them wanting to be at the rink every day.”
The Ice Bears are just two wins away from winning a state championship.
“Having the opportunity to finish at state makes this journey special,” Gerarden said.

Facebook Comments
Scroll to Top