Brady Welsch scored twice and Mitchell Huettl added a goal and two helpers as Fond du Lac Springs defeated Northland Pines 5-1 Saturday morning in the first-ever D2 title game.
The first period was scoreless, but full of action. There were a combined seven penalties in the period (four on Pines, three on Springs), but neither team could convert. The Eagles had 36 seconds of 5-on-3 in the middle of the period, but did not score.
Pines goalie Brett Wilkins was extremely busy, making 15 saves in the period. Ledgers goalie Hayden Rising stopped three, mostly because the Eagles airmailed a half-dozen or more shots.
The Ledgers (24-3-2) scored three times in the middle period to take control of the contest. Springs scored twice on 5-on-3 power plays, with Huettl scoring 12 seconds into the period when he tucked the puck short side on the Pines goalie as he was crossing over in the crease.
Ninety-eight seconds later, Welsch's blast from the left dot bounced off the left post and was kicked in by Wilkins as he tried to locate the puck.
Dayne Deanovich made the score 3-0 with just under four minutes left. The sophomore came down the right side, and it almost appeared that he was going to pass as the defender and the goalie both leaned the other way, only to be surprised when Deanovich backhanded the puck into the net.
Wilkins had 12 saves in the period, while Rising had five for the Ledgers.
The contest was interrupted many times by penalties (nine for Pines, seven for Springs) and the flow of the game was broken at times.
The Ledgers scored a couple times in the middle of the third period to take a 5-0 lead. Welsch grabbed a turnover in the Pines d-zone and skated across the slot to beat the Pines goalie. Just over a minute later, Isaac Hyland found a loose puck in front and sent a laser into the net for the five-goal lead.
Twenty-one seconds later, Pines got on the board with a nice score by Hunter Bill, who fired a shot from the top of the left circle that snuck through the five-hole.
Rising stopped nine shots in the period for a game total of 17, while Wilkins made five saves and finished with 32. The Eagles ended their great season with a mark of 25-4.