MONROE, Wis. (WEKZ) - Monroe scored the first goal of the game, but it was all Beloit after the late first period as the Purple Knights routed the Cheesemakers 8-3 on Thursday night at the SLICE.
Cameron Newcomer (5) scored an unassisted goal with 4:26 to go in the first period to get Monroe on the board after a back-and-forth first period.
It wouldn't take long for Beloit to answer, notching a power-play goal as Marcus Allen found Max Allen (16) with 2:45 to go in the opening frame to tie the game. Beloit then went ahead on a quick score by Jaxon Walenga (2) with assists from Drake Juhl and Jayden Piccione with only 31 seconds to go in the first period, taking a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
Beloit kept up the pressure and knocked in a score just a minute and 15 seconds into the second period, as Logan Tysse (3) grabbed a rebound feed from Nathan Anastasi to put the Purple Knights up 3-1. Beloit added one more goal with 6:23 to go in the second period by Brayden Lane (Payton Whalen assisting) to push the lead to 4-1 heading into the second intermission.
Monroe began the third period on a power play, but couldn't get a goal back to try to rally. Shortly after the penalty expired, Dylan Naugle (1) scored his first goal of the season on assists from Walenga and Gavin Brady as Beloit opened up a 5-1 lead with 14:04 to go in the third. Then, on a scramble play behind the goal line, Brady (10) was able to knock one in the net off of the back of Monroe's goalie with 11:43 to go in the third to give Beloit its sixth straight goal. Max Allen got the assist on Beloit's sixth goal.
The Cheesemakers got an unassisted goal from Cole Buholzer (5) at 8:36 to go in the 3rd to cut the lead to 4 for Beloit, but the Purple Knights would move the margin back to five by knocking in a power-play goal from out near the blue line, a blast from Cole Rowald (4) to make it 7-2 Beloit with 3:44 to go in the game. Monroe responded at 3:03 to go in the contest with a power play goal of their own, an effort goal from Hans Brandt (9) on assists from Brody Goode and Jace Daughenbaugh, to bring it to within 7-3. Beloit then added a goal for the road, the second for Brady (11) on an assist from Marcus Allen, to round out the game's scoring at 8-3 with 1:34 to go in the game.
Monroe took 27 shots on goal, with Beloit netminder Gentry Grant stopping 24 of them while increasing his record to 9-14. Beloit peppered the net with at least 20 shots in each period, finishing with 61 shots on goal, while Brock Brandli piled up 53 saves between the pipes for Monroe.
Beloit went 2-for-4 on the power play while Monroe was 1-for-2.
The start of the game was nearly delayed by a tornado warning in Green County, as a historic storm system dropped hail, wind, and rain on the west side of Monroe. The Beloit bus traveled just south of where a tornado was confirmed in northeastern Green County and northwestern Rock County, with coaches and players showing photos of the funnel cloud and hail from their journey to the venue. Hail was falling at the SLICE 40 minutes before the start of the game. However, everyone was safe, and the game started on time.
Monroe wraps up its regular season on Saturday at the WNS Storm before beginning its playoff journey on Tuesday against the Muskego Ice Force. The Cheesemakers have never won a WIAA Tournament game, but will seek to do so on the road Tuesday night.