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Everest Dominates Second, Third Periods to Route Icemen

By Bill Berg Jr, WiPH Staff, 11/29/23, 11:45AM CST


It was Skate with the Evergreens night at Greenheck Turner Community Center in Schofield on Tuesday. The 90 minutes of pre-game skating didn't hurt the hometown Evergreens though, as they rolled to a 10-0 win over the visiting Northwest Icemen.

The opening period set the stage, with Adam McKaig netting a power-play goal for the Evergreens with assists from Shaeden Fogelberg and Cole VanSlyke. They worked the puck to McKaig on the back door where he had two shots at it before anybody could stop him.

"I think we came out strong and did a great job of shutting out their top lines and keeping the house clean," said Icemen head coach Jess Engquist. "After the first period, we did not come out with the energy and focus needed to beat a very solid team like D.C. Everest."

The second period saw the Evergreens ramp up their offensive efforts. Thomas Passineau and Adam McKaig both capitalized on power-play opportunities, while Aiden Haupt, McKaig, and Kam Celia added solid even-strength goals. The Icemen's defense struggled to contain the Evergreens' persistent attacks.

"In between periods we talked about what went well for us and things we needed to clean up," said Everest coach Dan VanSlyke. "We felt our compete level was not to what we want to hold our standard at.  In the second period, we started to make the right reads, possess the puck and find open space, and play unselfish hockey."

In the final period, the Evergreens didn't let up. Goals from Ethan Whitmore, Thomas Passineau, and Charlie Biolo Thompson further widened the gap. The Icemen, despite their efforts, were unable to find an answer to the Evergreens' aggressive play."

"As soon as the energy and focus were gone, we got a bit lazy and that led to more penalties," said Engquist. "We need to put together a complete game no matter who we are playing.

"I thought both teams had a solid first period, but for the last two periods, Everest stayed the course and we did not," Engquist added. "They looked to be well coached as they did not let off the gas until the final buzzer."

Goalkeeping was a highlight, with the Evergreens' Griffen Bunnell shutting out all 19 shots from the Icemen. On the other end, Oscar Severson and Jacob Meznarich of the Icemen faced a challenging 35 shots, demonstrating resilience under pressure.

"I felt we played with a different tempo and compete in the 2nd and 3rd periods that we haven't seen through the first seven periods of the season," said VanSlyke. "We are still quite young in terms of varsity experience, and are continuing to learn how to control what we can control on a nightly basis."

Adam McKaig stood out for the Evergreens with three goals and two assists. Thomas Passineau also had a notable performance with three goals, showing his ability to find the back of the net.

"We have been struggling this year getting the whole team on the ice at the same time (due to injuries and illness), but our coaching staff is stressing that you need to practice how you play," said Engquist. "Freshmen and sophomores now see what the speed of the game looks like, so we are trying to instill in them that it needs to be replicated if we want to grow and have success."

This weekend the Evergreens head down to the Milwaukee Area to take on Marquette and Waukesha. The Icemen finish their week on Thursday against Chequamegon/Phillips/Butternut.

"I have been telling them that the team cannot improve until every individual improves, and individuals won't improve if they are not giving 100% in every aspect of the game like effort and focus in practices and games, the ability to objectively evaluate themselves while watching film and pushing others to want the same end goal as them," finished Engquist.

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