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Verona upsets Notre Dame to advance to title game

03/01/2013, 10:45pm CST
By Michael Trzinski

Seid and Alex Jones steal the show and the game for Verona

There were probably more that a few people that wouldn't have given Verona a compacted frozen white precipitation's chance in Hades to beat top-ranked juggernaut Notre Dame in Friday's semi-final game at the Clamshell (Alliant Energy Center).

Given that Notre Dame beat Verona at the Eagles Nest by a touchdown in late January, it did not instill confidence in a Wildcats win.

But, when you combine a smaller sheet of ice to negate team speed, and a defensive plan that was executed to near perfection, it all added up to the upset of the year: Verona 5, Notre Dame 2.

The Tritons got on the board early and it looked to have the feel of another trouncing.

While on a power play, Luke Davison took a shot from the point that was re-directed by Mason Appleton past Verona goalie Alex Jones for the 1-0 lead just 1:38 into the contest. Tony Stillwell received an assist for his initial pass to Davison on the point.

Midway through the period, Verona tied the game on a nice backdoor play.

Zac Keryluk was gliding down the left wing and fired a pass across to Harry Seid, who popped in his first of two goals at the 6:25 mark. Philippe Fromberger also earned an assist.

The Wildcats grabbed the lead with just over four and one-half minutes to play in the period with Brogan Baker's rebound goal from the slot. Charlie Parker was given a helper on the play.

Notre Dame trailed by one while outshooting Verona 9-6 in the period.

The Tritons would get right back into the game early in the second. Jason Reynolds scored with an assist from Riley Christensen at 2:55 to knot the contest at two apiece.

Seven minutes later, Verona would take the lead for good.

Seid grabbed the puck in the Verona end and set sail up the right wing. He got as far as the right dot before he unleashed a rocket that beat NDA goalie Eli Hicks just over the left pad and inside the right post to make it 3-2. 

The Wildcats left the ice after two periods clinging precariously to a one-goal lead, while outshooting the Tritons 11-9 in the stanza.

WiPH Game Summaries

Notre Dame had an early power play chance to open the third, but was unable to convert.

Thirty-six seconds after Fromberger came out of the box, he made up for his sin by assisting on a Zach Jones goal. The Player of the Year sniped a shot from the slot that made the score 4-2 at the 5:18 mark. Brodie Roehrig also got an assist on the play.

It took just over a minute, 63 seconds to be exact, for the Wildcats to score again.

Keryluk and Seid reversed roles this time, with Seid passing from the right wing across to the backdoor for a Keryluk goal to change the scoreboard to 5-2 with 10:39 left to play. At this point, Notre Dame coach Cory McCracken called time-out.

Notre Dame would have another power play try, but they were unable to convert and would be successful only one time out of four in the game.

With just under five minutes left, the teams would be called for matching minors and then the Tritons would go one man down with just over three minutes left.

McCracken was unable to get Hicks out of the game until there was only 60 seconds left, but by then the celebration had started in the Verona fan section.

The buzzer sounded on one of the biggest upsets in recent history.

Jones stopped 33 shots in the game, while Hicks turned aside 19 for NDA.

The Tritons ended their spectacular season with a mark of 25-2-1. Verona improved to 27-2.

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