Michael Wilson scored twice and added an assist to lead the Fond du Lac Cardinals past the Middleton Cardinals 4-2 Sunday morning in the 'Showdown in Titletown' at the Cornerstone Community Center.
The first 11 minutes set the tone for the game, as three penalties were called in the early going.
Middleton got off the schneid first when they came down on a 2-on-1. Davis Bunz drew a defenseman to him and slid a pass across to the low right side where Eric Karwoski gathered it in and fired the puck past Fondy goalie William Shober at 13:53. Jordan Carey also had an assist on the scoring play.
As the period ended with a 1-0 Middleton lead, the shots tally favored Fondy by a 7-5 margin.
The early going in the second showed one goal and a bunch of penalties.
After a Middleton infraction, Wilson made them pay with a power play goal from the slot at 2:32, with an assist to Bailey Koenigs to tie the game at one.
Fondy had 46 seconds of 5-on-3, but failed to capitalize as Middleton returned their second player with just over nine minutes left. Just before that, Middleton lost a key defenseman as Bunz was whistled for a five-minute major for high sticking, with a game misconduct to go with it.
Middleton grabbed the lead back when Taylor Dickert jammed the puck into the net under the glove of Shober. The puck appeared to be covered for a few seconds, but when no whistle was forthcoming, Dickert scored his goal.
Shots were 16-4 in favor of Fondy.
Fondy regained the lead with two goals in the first 42 seconds of the final period. First, Alex Graf scored a power play rebound just 17 seconds in, with assists to Ben Pertl and Ian Tess-Wanat. Then 25 seconds later, Caylen Dyni scored from the low left side, with assists to Wilson and Koenigs.
Wilson showed why he is one of the premier players in the state in scoring his second goal. He picked up the puck in the NZ and blew down the right side, warding off an opponent with his left arm before curling into the low slot. He then stuffed the puck past Middleton goalie Zach Kasdorf for a 4-2 lead with 5:18 left. Pertl earned his second helper on the play.
Kasdorf came off with just over a minute left for the extra skater, but Fondy held on for the two-goal victory.
Shots were knotted at eight in the period.
Shober finished with 15 saves in earning the win, while Kasdorf stopped 27 pucks for Middleton.