Division 2, Section 2 looked an awful lot like the Great Northern Conference, minus Medford and plus Marshfield. The Northland Pines Eagles thoroughly dominated the GNC, going 10-0 while scoring 94 goals and allowing but seven. When the Eagles played the Mosinee Indians in the round robin part of the season, the Eagles cruised to a 9-0 win. They followed that up with a 6-0 victory over Mosinee in the GNC championship game.
So write this one in and stamp the Eagles ticket to Madison, right? Not so fast. The Indians led the Eagles 3-1 early in the third period before Pines rallied for a 4-3 comeback win in the Sectional Two final game on Saturday in Mosinee.
Pines controlled much of the play in the first period, firing 12 shots at Mosinee goalie Stanford Swid. But Swid turned them all aside. The Indians managed just 5 shots at Eagles netminder Brett Wilkins. Wilkins was also spotless in the first period.
The second period action was a little more balanced and Mosinee broke the seal on the Pines net after twelve and a half minutes when they got the puck and a bunch of bodies to the Indians net on a power play. After a brief scramble in front, Matej Rychtarek punched the puck into the net for the early lead.
That lead didn’t last long as two minutes later, Riley McGee charged the puck up ice into the Mosinee zone and let loose with a wrist shot from the top of the slot. The low shot hit off a defenseman’s stick and caromed up and over Swid’s glove hand into the top corner of the net.
The second period ended with the teams knotted up at one each. Swid made 7 saves while Wilkins stopped 5.
The Indians recaptured the lead two minutes into the third period. Max Beste fired a wrist shot through traffic from the blue line that seemed to catch Wilkins off guard. Mosinee added to that lead with another power play goal moments later. Max Beste fired a top shelf slapper from the top of the right circle, and things were looking good for Mosinee.
Then Tobias Holka took a major boarding penalty for plastering a Pines defenseman face-first into the glass.
Pines was able to tie the game on the ensuing five minute power play. First, Riley McGee went top shelf from the right circle to make it 3-2. Then Max Brown knocked home a rebound with 33 seconds left in the man advantage.
Just a few minutes later Pines took the lead with an even strength goal by Zach Maillette with four minutes to play.
A minor penalty on Mosinee with just under two minutes to play foiled the Indians chance for any late game heroics and Pines hung on for the win and a trip to Madison.