The Northwest Icemen trekked to Baldwin this Tuesday to take on the Baldwin-Woodville Blackhawks for the Section 1 regional matchup. While the game started slowly, the Icemen picked up speed in the second period, and came out on top with a 7-2 win.
During the regular season, these teams met twice, splitting their games with a win for each team. Baldwin-Woodville prevailed earlier in the season with a 5-3 win, but the Icemen came back for revenge with an 8-2 win just last Thursday.
Baldwin-Woodville hit their home ice ready to play, dominating the first minutes of play. Three minutes and 38 seconds into the first period, the Blackhawks got their first powerplay of the game after Bryce Sohn headed to the box on an interference call.
Despite having the one-man disadvantage, the Icemen denied every the Blackhawks of getting a single shot on net during the powerplay. Their penalty kill unit blocked all five shots that headed in their goaltender, JT Gunderson’s, direction.
After the penalty expired, the Icemen took control of the play.
Brett Gauger got caught up with a Blackhawks defenseman at the far blue line before charging into the zone. He rifled a shot from the mid-slot that flew into the back of the net over Brian Bresina’s left shoulder to put the Icemen on the board with 5:24 remaining in the first period.
As Evan Nadeau served his time for interference, the Blackhawks had their opportunity to settle the score. The Icemen penalty kill unit didn’t let that happen, though, and they headed to the locker room with a 1-0 lead.
The puck dropped in the second period to a scoring frenzy. Just 16 seconds into the period, Matt Slaminski found the back of the net off of a pass from Tanner Vik, and the Icemen didn’t stop there.
Slaminski found the net again just a few minutes later on a backhander that slipped through Bresina’s 5-hole. Vik and Gauger earned assists on that play.
Blackhawks’ Cody Paulson was called for hooking, giving the Icemen the advantage and another opportunity to lengthen their lead.
While the Blackhawks killed the penalty, the Icemen struck again 30 second after the penalty had expired. Alex Timm tossed the puck to Cole Sutherland, who took a shot from the right point that flew past Bresina for their fourth goal of the night.
Vik was the next to add to the Icemen’s scoring rush. He made a nice move in front of the net and flipped the puck backhanded over the netminder’s left pad. Gauger had the assist on the goal scored with 4:48 left in the second.
At the next faceoff, Gavin Hessler pushed the puck towards Mitchell Larson, who snuck the puck past Gunderson to put Baldwin-Woodville on the board for the first time that night just two seconds after the previous goal.
Baldwin-Woodville took the momentum and found the twine again just over two minutes later. This time, it was Hessler with the goal assisted by Luke Meyer and Larson, tightening the Icemen lead to 5-2.
Vik found the net one last time in the second period with a shot from the top of the right circle. Slaminski earned the single assist on the play.
The teams came out refreshed, and the third found a much more even game with lots of end-to-end action.
Baldwin-Woodville had a chance to tighten up the game when Derek Buchman was sent to the sin bin to serve his two minutes for tripping, but they could not capitalize, the Icemen spending the majority of the penalty kill in the Blackhawks zone.
With 1:15 left in the game, KC Larson made a nice move in front of the net and capped off the scoring for the 7-2 win over Baldwin-Woodville.