Central Wisconsin and Bay Area collided Saturday afternoon at the Clamshell for the girls state title. As was expected, the first period was 17 minutes of each team feeling the other out.
Each squad had a pair of power play chances, and although neither were able to score, the Storm had several good chances but all shots were repelled by WiPH Jessie Vetter Award winner Ana Holzbach.
While on the power play in the middle of the period, Katelyn (K-Ram) Ramthun set up low, to the right of Holzbach and took a couple whacks at the puck, only to see it rejected.
Three minutes later the puck squirted under the right pad of Holzbach but before a Storm player was able to spot it and tap it in, an alert Bay Area defender pulled it free and sent it out of the danger zone.
The period ended with Bay Area working on the power play, with 69 seconds to carry over into the second period.
In the period, Holzbach made 12 saves while Chloe Westberg found it a little more quiet on her end, stopping three pucks.
The middle period was a penalty fest, as Bay Area was called for three infractions while the Storm twice went to the sin bin.
The last minute of play was especially exciting, as Bay Area attacked while on the man advantage. First, Morgan Zirbel made a rush and fired a shot that bounced off the shoulder of Westberg and over the net.
The Storm goalie's adventures were not done, as she made a save 20 seconds later as time was winding down but left the puck laying just to the left of the net on the goal line. Bay Area forward Johanna Cano spotted it, but in her haste for the easy tap-in, rifled it across the goal face and into the corner of the rink.
Westberg finished the period with nine saves, while Holzbach had eight.
The Storm came close to scoring five minutes into the third period when a blast from the left point deflected off Holzbach's right arm and connected with the post but was covered by the goalie.
On the next trip down the ice, the Ice Bears did score. A shot from the slot was stopped by Westberg, but when she failed to handle the puck cleanly, Talia Boyea cleaned up the rebound for the 1-0 lead. Abby Anderson and Autumn Klemencic earned helpers on the play at the 5:28 mark.
The next eight minutes was more or less the Morgan Zirbel show. The Ice Bears defenseman broke up a 2-on-1 rush and then stole the puck away from Emelia Edmondson as the Storm forward was advancing on the net to keep the Storm off the board.
But as so often happens, the trailing team breaks the ice and that happened when Edmondson's shot from the slot bounced off Holzbach's shoulder and tumbled into the net for the equalizer with 2:12 left.
Maggie Plaza came close to ending the game for the Storm but her shot with 25 seconds left airmailed the net and the period ended with the teams tied at one. Holzbach made eight stops, while Westberg kept a pair out of the net.
Bay Area was called for a couple penalties in the extra period, and the second one cost them.
Plaza had the puck in the right corner and she fired it across the crease where Ramthun was conveniently waiting. Her tap-in sent the Storm fans home happy with 2:38 left in the overtime.
Westberg ended with 14 saves, while Holzbach stopped 32 shots for Bay Area.
Storm coach Pete Susens, in addition to his 620 career HS wins, now has a girls title to add to his boys crown for Wausau West in 2011.