The third seed Mosinee Indians came into the Great Northern Conference championship game with regular season losses to Antigo and Rhinelander, but a win over top seed Lakeland.
They avenged their loss to Rhinelander in the semi-finals of the tournament, and beat Lakeland for the second time this season in the championship game, this time 3-0.
Mosinee really controlled the play for the first half of the game and all conference first team forward Caden Schmirler got Mosinee on the board just 3:15 into the game with assists to Ondrej Napravnik and Gavin Obremski.
Schmirler added his second goal just 1:02 into the second period in front of the stunned home crowd in Minocqua.
Then Lakeland turned on the jets. From the mid-point of the second period through the end of the game Lakeland dominated puck possession and scoring chances. Unfortunately for the Thunderbirds they did everything but score.
Lakeland put up 20 shots in the second period and another 15 in the third period, but they couldn't crack freshman goalie Aiden Karst and the Mosinee defense did a fantastic job of eliminating rebounds.
With the pressure mounting, the Thunderbirds looked to pull all conference goalie Max Masayesva for the extra attacker. Masayesva got about three quarters of the way to the bench and the extra attacker took the ice. Unfortunately for Lakeland, Mosinee regained possession and were coming through the neutral zone. Masayesva stopped and turned around and Lakeland ended up taking a Too Many Men on the Ice penalty with 1:55 left in the game.
Undeterred, the Thunderbirds pulled Masayesva anyway to skate 5-on-5. They continued to put the pressure on Mosinee, but Napravnik would fire a long shot down the length of the rink and get the empty netter to seal the 3-0 win for Mosinee.
Masayesva stopped 25 of 27 in the loss for the Thunderbirds, just their second in the Great Northern Conference this season. Karst stopped all 44 shots he faced for Mosinee, in the biggest shutout of his young career.