The last team to complete an undefeated WIAA high school hockey season was the 2008 Eau Claire Memorial Old Abes. The Notre Dame Academy Tritons were on a mission on Saturday, and they succeeded with flying colors to join the Old Abes, completing their perfect season with an 8-2 win over the second seed over the Verona Wildcats.
It was end-to-end and fast for the first five and half minutes of the first period before the trio of Player of the Year Hunter Bill, Jack McCabe Award winner Drew Schock, and Sam Kappell combined for two goals in just 20 seconds to knock Verona back on their heels.
On the first Bill went to Schock in the high slot and Schock one-timed it on net. Blake Craven made the kick save but Kappell was right there to put in the rebound.
On the second Bill and Kappell broke into the zone, Bill slid the puck across to Kappell who poked it back to Schock who sent it in.
The duo of Bill and Kappell would add one more with just one minute left in the period. Bill outraced the defense to the puck behind the Verona net and passed it out from to Kappell who went far side to make it 3-0.
Lleyton Jaschke had a good bounce-back period for Notre Dame after being pulled yesterday against University School, making a couple very nice glove saves, including one on Player of the Year finalist and Joe Pavelski Award finalist Reece Cordray on a break away. He stopped 6 shots in the frame.
Blake Craven was only credited with six saves in the period, but he was busy all period long as Notre Dame controlled the play in the period.
Five minutes into the second period Verona got one back. Reece Cordray shot on net and Jaschke deflected it out wide, but Lars Brotzman fired it back in, Jaschke didn't see it through the traffic and Verona was on the board.
Neither team scored again in the second has Jaschke recorded another five saves, and Craven had 10.
Notre Dame added to their lead just 1:22 into the third period. During a two-on-two puck battle in the corner, Sam Kappell kicked it to Brenden Gruber who came out with it and hit Bryce Dahl in the slot. Dahl picked his spot and hit it to give the Tritons a 4-1 lead.
They added another three minutes later when Michael McIntee got taken down in front of the net and Kade McCarron picked up the loose puck and fired it in.
Goal number six came about 40 seconds later. McIntee drove with the puck into the corner and fired it out to Kappell who picked his spot and hit it to make it 6-1.
Unfortunately Verona started to lose their cool and rack up penalties, which lead to power play goals by McIntee and Mason Peapenburg to move it to 8-1.
Things settled down after that. With about 15 seconds left both teams decided they were done and started milling around the ice to run down the remainder of the clock. Condrad Moline sent the puck the length of the ice right before time expired to give Verona a technical second goal.
Jaschke stopped 13 of 15 in the championship effort. Craven stopped 25 of 33 for Verona.
The win was Notre Dame's first state championship since 2012.