After a scoreless first period, University School got four goals in the middle period and ground its way to a 5-0 win over Verona in the first game of Semifinal Friday at The Clamshell.
The scoreless first period had Verona with a 9-7 shot edge.
USM got on the board in a first minute of play to open the second period. While playing short-handed, USM's Tyler Herzberg steamed down the left side, turned the corner near the bottom of the circle and tucked the biscuit under Verona goalie Kaden Grant for the 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats of USM increased their lead to 2-0 midway through the period.
Reid Woods gathered in a pass from Sterling Cooke in the slot and beat Grant at the 8:30 mark.
That lead lasted for four minutes.
Ethan Mann sent a pass from the left point to Robby Newton, who was located in the right circle. Newton circled to below the dot and fired a shot that beat the goalie on the glove side, but hit just inside the left post for the 3-0 lead.
USM closed the scoring in the period with a goal in the last minute of play. Herzberg sent a pass to Mann, who zipped the puck cross-ice to Newton at the bottom of the left circle. Newton's quick wrister beat the goalie to make it 4-0 with 37 seconds left.
Shots were 9-6 USM in the period.
The third period saw Mann sit in the penalty box for most of the period on a CFB, but Verona was unable to cut into the USM lead.
USM goalie Patrick Kelly made a great save in the middle of the period to keep Verona off the board.
Late in the period after a five minute major from Verona, Ethan Ford scored the final goal for USM.
While in his defensive zone, Ford was knocked to the ice by a Verona forward. The senior picked himself up and roared down the left side, taking a pass from Cooke and sniping the puck into the net for the 5-0 lead with 34 seconds left.
Shots were 10-3 in favor of Verona in the game. Kelly completed his shutout with 25 saves, while Grant stopped 14 pucks on his end.
University School will play tomorrow against the winner of the Waukesha-Neenah/Hortonville/Menasha game for the boys state title. The game will begin at approximately 2:30pm.