The final two games from Plymouth Ice Center for the Wisconsin HP-18s team were a similar story to how the first two games played out. The Wisconsin Juniors came out strong and while skating with the other squad, the team had trouble keeping up that high intensity for all three periods. Overall, Coach Eric Fenton was proud of how the boys competed all weekend, “a really great group of kids, they were a pleasure to coach and be around this week.”
On Saturday the Wisconsin HP-18s took on top seeded North Dakota team. Wisconsin ended up giving them their closest contest of the week as they took the eventual champions tied 3-3 into the third period. JJ Wiebusch continued his impressive showcase by giving Wisconsin the lead early on off a feed from Parker Munn. Wisconsin added two more rocket shots by Fondy Spring’s Dean Deanovich to head into the third period tied with the impressive North Dakota team. North Dakota showed their dominance in the third to finally take a 6-3 victory. Shots were relatively even at ND 33 and WIHP 31.
Sunday’s matchup featured the Wisconsin HP-18s taking on the 3rd place Pool B team, the Michigan Seniors. JJ Wiebusch scored for Wisconsin in the first period off a tic-tac-toe play in the offensive zone. Nick Mast fired the puck that squeaked past the Michigan goalie. JJ was there on the back door to tap the puck in. Wisconsin trailed 1-2 going into the second period. Signs of fatigue started to show again as Michigan slowly started to control the play. A high bouncing puck that found its way to the back of the Wisconsin net was a sign of the upcoming momentum swing. Wisconsin was able to add two goals in the third period though, the first being a breakaway by Aidan Lenz off a long stretch pass by Hudson’s Max Giblin. The final goal scored by Wisconsin was a nifty splitting of the defense by JJ Wiebusch. Wiebusch came flying into the zone off a regroup pass by Cody Menzel. Wiebusch split the defense and left his feet all while controlling the puck, he carried in on the goaltender and roofed a forehand to give Wisconsin one of it’s prettiest goals of the week. The final score here was a 7-3 Michigan Senior victory.
Congrats to all of the teams and players up at the Minnesota CCM NIT Tournament. It was some great, fast paced, hard hitting hockey. An awesome chance for our players to showcase what Wisconsin can do and has to offer.