Over the last four seasons the #4 Antigo Red Robins and #5 Waupaca Comets have played seven-times. Four of them were Great Northern Conference regular season matchups, and the other three were Great Northern Conference tournament matchups. Waupaca won all seven of those games, and none by more than 2 goals (4-2, 3-2, 5-4, 2-1, 3-2, 3-2, 4-2).
Last night at the Langlade County Multipurpose Building the Red Robins exercised those demons and took away an 8-2 win in the Division 2, Section 2 Regional Final.
"The team was made well aware of the senior class being winless against Waupaca and winless in playoffs all week," said Antigo coach Matt Borneman. "We erased the motivational reminder of that from the board on gameday and let the past be the past."
"For playoffs the past does not matter, the goal is 1-0 after 51 minutes," Borneman added.
Trevin Walbeck, last week's Radisson Madison Player of the Week, opened the scoring for the Robins at the 12:42 mark of the first period on a feed from Eli Kassler and Joe Volpentesta.
Calvin Jansen added another goal just 23 seconds later to give the Robins a 2-0 lead.
The Robins kept the pressure up in the second period with goalies by Volpentesta, Jansen, and Kassler to make it 5-0 after two periods. More goals than the Robins have scored in four years against Waupaca.
The Comets didn't give up however and picked up their first goal 2:34 into the third period. Max Gusmer took a feed form Hesslin Trzebiatowski and buried it to cut the lead.
Antigo got one right back, another goal from Volpentesta, to make it 6-1.
Waupaca scored under a minute later, this time it was Elliot Bartel who had the goal, to make it 6-2.
"Waupaca always plays hard and always battles for every loose puck, they are well coached," said Borneman. "Their game gave us a lot of trouble both times they beat us this season. Last night was no different, no matter the score they brought it."
Paden Michalik and Garrett Husnick added the final two goals for the Robins, who will play the winner of Northland Pines and Lakeland.
Aaron Converse had 25 saves on 27 shots in the win for the Robins. Hagen Rasmussen and Brody Berens combined for 27 saves for the Comets in the loss.
"Someone had to win and unfortunately for them we were not going to be denied on this night," said Borneman. "The team was ready to go tonight and played a full 51min. Very proud of the playoff mentality we showed."