Boys Hockey vs. Bay Port
The University School boys’ hockey team defeated Bay Port, 4-0, in a non-conference game on Saturday, November 28th at USM. The Wildcats won their second game in less than 24 hours. The game Saturday against the Pirates was a low-scoring, defensive affair compared to their 7-4 defeat of Madison Edgewood on Friday evening during which the teams scored 11 total goals.
The shot totals for the game told the story. Jack Schroeder, USM’s goaltender, earned the shutout, making 28 saves, just 13 of them in the opening two periods. The Wildcats took 32 shots; Marcus Niemi, Bay Port’s goalie, stopped 29 of them.
The early part of the game had a back-and-forth rhythm. The teams took the measure of their opponents. Neither had any quality chances in those opening moments.
USM coach, Corbin McGuire described it, “Bay Port’s energy and first game excitement was prevalent the first few shifts as their forecheck and in-zone possession time dominated us. After going shotless for the first few minutes of the game, we began to control the play and utilize our in-zone offense strength.”
The Wildcats’ persistence eventually paid off. At the Bay Port blue line, Peter Ells lifted a Bay Port player’s stick and gained control of the puck. He skated down the right boards and cut to the net. He took a shot that Niemi saved, but Ells got his own rebound and popped it in for what would be the eventual game-winning goal at 5:55 of the first period.
USM scored again on a power play at 14:40 of the opening frame. Noah Eghbali jabbed the puck under Niemi during a kerfuffle in front of the Pirates’ crease. Ethan Mann and Ethan Thombs were awarded assists on the play.
McGuire noted that, “We came out with a much better jump in our step to start the second period, and dominated the offensive zone play early.”
The Wildcats’ efforts eventually furnished them a goal at 9:30 of the second period. Eghbali skated the puck deep into the Bay Port zone. He moved behind the net then handed the puck off to Mann in the right corner. Mann ambled toward the net, sidetracking Niemi’s attention. So Mann passed the puck across to Reid Woods, wide open at the back door. Woods shot the puck into the net, which was gaping like a mouth to be fed, to give USM a 3-0 lead.
McGuire said, “We broke through with a goal from Reid Woods off a beautiful feed from Ethan Mann, who threw a cross-ice back door pass to Woods.”
At 16:30 of the second period, the Pirates were awarded a major power play. The Wildcats’ penalty-killing arose to the task, stymieing the Pirates power play for the next 30 seconds of the second period and for the first four and a half minutes of the third.
McGuire commented on the Wildcats’ third period play, “The penalty kill carried over into the start of the third, but Jack Schroeder and the defense/penalty kill were able to standoff the major penalty and the shots that ensued. After killing off the major penalty, the boys controlled most of the offensive play for the remainder of the third, and we were able to survive the extra attacker offense late in the game. Capitalizing on the empty net, Kyler Ringgold blocked a shot and deposited a half-ice goal to make the final score, 4-0.”
As the USM coach stated, Ringgold scored the Wildcats’ final goal, an empty-netter, at 12:08.
Bay Port is now 0-1 and 0-0 in the Fox River Classic Conference. The Pirates play Fox Cities in a conference game at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 5th at the Cornerstone Community Center in Ashwaubenon.
USM is now 2-0 and 0-0 in the Classic Eight Conference. The Wildcats play Fond du Lac in a non-conference game at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 2nd at USM.