The Wausau West Warriors dominated the second and third periods en route to a 7-0 victory over the Onalaska/LaCrosse Hilltopers in the opening round of the Warriors Showcase Tournament in Wausau on Friday night.
The Warriors opened the scoring just three and a half minutes into the first when Brody Brimacombe knocked in a rebound of a Tyler Cleveland shot. The Hilltoppers fought back and generated several scoring chances, but there would be no more goals in the first.
Onalaska goalie Noah Finch stopped 11 of the 12 shots he saw, while Adam Prokop was perfect in the Wasuau West net on the 10 shots he faced.
Wausau turned up the heat in the second period, outshooting the Hilltoppers 23 to 8, and outscoring them 3 to nothing.
Thomas Gerum got his first goal of the night just 17 seconds into the frame when he fired a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that cleared Finch’s glove and just nicked the underside of the crossbar.
A turnover in the neutral zone allowed Grant Halmstad and Judah Leder to get behind the Onalaska defense and walk in on Finch. Halmstad faked a pass to Leder, getting Ffinch to slide to his left. Halmstad cut the other way and tucked the puck into an open net.
Gerum notched his second goal on a five minute power play for West. With a faceoff in the right circle, Cade Gruber won the draw back to Gerum who fired a wrist shot just inside the far post.
Brimacombe picked up his second goal, Connor Wendell scored, and Gerum completed his hattrick with a short-handed goal in the third period to lead to a 7-0 final.
Wausau advances to face the Eau Claire Memorial Old Abes in the Championship game at 3:15 on Saturday. The Hilltoppers will face Notre Dame in the early game at 1:00.