In the overall scheme of things, Kadin Machusak is not known as a big scorer for the Eau Claire Memorial Old Abes, at least compared to Jake Bresser. But on a Saturday night when the Old Abes played at the 'other' Hobbs Arena in Altoona, Machusak came up big by scoring a hattie and leading the Abes to a 7-0 win over Chequamegon/Phillips in Sectional 2 play.
The top-seeded Old Abes scored three times in each of the first two periods to put the game into run-time and secure the victory over 9th seeded Team SEaL.
Eau Claire Hobbs is hosting a youth tournament this weekend, so both the ECN-RM and ECM-C/P contests were moved a half-dozen miles east to Altoona rather than be played on Monday.
The Old Abes got on the board just under four minutes into the first on a rebound goal by Machusak. A shot from the point was stopped by the left pad of C/P goalie Kristen Pechacek and bounced off to her left, where Machusak found the puck and snuck it between the right post and catch glove of the C/P goalie. Jake Jochimsen earned an assist on the play.
Team SEaL had a golden opportunity three minutes later when they had 1:08 of 5-on-3, but were unable to tally, as ECM goalie Nick Schreiter and the Old Abes defense denied a score.
Pechacek made two stellar saves in a span of 40 seconds shortly after--one on a breakaway by Dylan Ross where the goalie made a nice left pad save on a cross-slot deke, and then stopped a 2-on-1 rush with a stick save.
After C/P went down one skater, the Old Abes made them pay with a power play goal by Bresser, with helpers to Andrew Emberson and Austin Phippen at 11:08 of the first.
Jonathon Bennis made it 3-0 two minutes later with his rebound goal over Pechacek's left pad. Emberson and Chuck Bennis were given assists on the play that closed out the first period scoring.
The scoreboard showed a 25-3 shot margin in the first.
Machusak made it 4-0 with his goal at 26 seconds of the second period, with an assist to Chuck Bennis.
The Old Abes could have tacked on to their lead as C/P returned the 5-on-3 favor, but it was Pechacek's turn to repel all boarders and keep the score at 4-0, as her team kept the Abes out of the net for nearly three minutes of power play time.
After an Old Abe penalty, Machusak found himself with the puck and put it past the C/P goalie for the short-handed goal at 7:15, with an assist to Tye McLaughlin. A coonskin or two flew onto the ice in celebration of the three-goal performance by the junior forward that made the score 5-0.
The match was sent to run-time with 3:38 left in the middle period on Phippen's nice power play goal. The Abes cycled the puck behind the net before passing to the back-door where the junior was camped. McLaughlin was given an assist and Emberson earned his playmaker on the score.
Shots were 25-5 in the period in favor of the hosts.
Dawson Schwengler closed out the scoring with his first varsity goal with just 16 seconds left in the contest. Sam Hanson and Austin Bunce were credited with helpers on the play.
The pace of the game slowed down in the final period as the Old Abes outshot Team SEaL 12-5.
Schreiter (7) and Alex Geving (6) combined for a bakers dozen worth of saves for ECM, but the story in net was on the other end as Pechacek stopped an amazing 55 of 62 shots, many of them from point-blank range.
The Old Abes (20-4-1) will face Hayward on Tuesday in the semi-finals, while C/P dropped to 7-14-1 to finish their season.
Seniors that played their last game for C/P included Jordan Koski, Chad Schnautz, Hailey Falk, and Pechacek.
Best wishes to you!