The Eau Claire Memorial Old Abes decided to introduce freshman goaltender Evan Madsen to high school hockey against the defending state champion Notre Dame Academy Tritons on Saturday in the championship game of the Memorial Meltdown. A stifling Memorial defense limited the Tritons to just 20 shots, and Madsen stopped 19 of them for a 4-1 Old Abe victory.
Both team defended the front of their net with aggression, limiting opportunities and negating passes to the slot area. Madsen saw only 4 shots in the first period from the outside. At the other end, Lleyton Jaschke stopped all six of the shots he faced as well.
Memorial got two great scoring chances early in the second period when first, Arik Kanitz and then Blake Ahneman got the puck behind all the NDA defenders for breakaway chances. Lleyton Jaschke stoned each of them.
Old Abes finally broke through with five minutes left in the second. Nick Madsen had the puck along the left boards at the hash marks and fired the puck toward the top of the crease. Ahneman put his stick down and redirected the puck before Jaschke could get across the net.
Memorial had another chance to add to their lead with a minute and a half left in the second with a 2 on 1 chance. A well timed pass and shot toward the far side, and it took Jaschke doing the splits with full extension to keep the puck out.
With just 19 seconds left in the second the Old Abes were able to pad their lead with a slapshot from Dylan Byrne on the right point. A high shot through a screen just caught the top corner on Jaschke’s blocker side.
NDA got on the board just two minutes into the third with a slapshot from the right point by Wyatt Herres. It was also a high shot, but on Madesn’s glove side, and he had a clear look at it. He just didn’t get his glove up high enough.
ECM got it back with five minutes left in the third. Nick Madsen picked up the puck in his own zone and skated up the left boards. As he rounded the bottom of the Tritons faceoff circle, Jaschke went down into the HV position giving Madsen a sliver of room over his right shoulder. Madsen didn’t miss.
An empty net goal, a 180 foot wrist shot by Byrne made the final score 4-1 ECM.