The Notre Dame Academy Tritons fell behind early, but clawed their way back to down the University School of Milwaukee Wildcats 5-3 in the first semi-final of the Division One State Tournament.
The University School fan buses were late arriving at the arena, and the Wildcats looked lost without them. For the first three minutes of the game, it seemed like the puck never left the USM zone. Then the students started pouring in the team’s fortunes changed.
The Wildcats scored first on a spin around slap shot by Noah Eghbali from the top of the slot that seemed to catch NDA goalie Bo Buckley by surprise.
Midway through the period Tyler Herzberg skated the puck behind the NDA net and spotted Eghbali all by himself in the slot. A quick pass and a quick shot and the Wildcats lead jumped to 2-0.
Buckley made eight saves in the first, while at the other end of the ice, Patrick Kelly also recorded eight saves.
The Tritons finally got on the board with 4:40 left in the second period when Corbin Skinner roofed a wrist shot from the top of the slot. The Tritons out-shot the Wildcats 11-6 in the second period.
Three minutes into the third period, NDA’s Charlie Wied picked up the puck at his own blueline and carried it into the USM zone. After undressing a flat-footed Wildcat defenseman, Wied skated to the edge of the crease and popped the puck up into the top netting to tie the score at 2 goals each.
Three and a half minutes later Sawyer Scholl fired a shot from the top of the right circle that hit Kelly, but somehow managed to work its way through a slight gap between Kelly’s right arm and chest.
That goal was quickly followed up by Riley Onell who picked up a loose puck in the slot and fired it past Kelly to make it a 4-2 NDA lead.
Tyler Herzberg drew the Wildcats within one when he picked up a loose puck in the slot and beat Buckley with a low wrist shot at 14:34.
Notre Dame got that one back two minutes later when there was a scramble for the puck in front of Kelly and Brendan Poshak grabbed the loose puck and skated to his right until he found a clear lane to shoot and fired the puck before Kelly could get across. That 5-3 lead would hold up for the last 1:15 and Notre Dame advanced to the championship game.