They played like champions. Using some of the key ingredients of good ice hockey, hard skating, good puck control and movement, and quick hard shots, the Wildcats of the University School boys’ hockey team defeated the Germantown Co-op team 11-0 to win the championship of the annual Paul Meyer Memorial Hockey Tournament at USM on Saturday, November 26th at USM.
The Wildcats’ head coach Jason Woods commented, “Good job tonight by the boys. They did what they were supposed to do. Germantown was coming off a big and exciting win the night before, so we had to be ready to go from the drop of the puck. I think sixteen different players had at least one point for us tonight so that tells you we were sharing the puck well. That's really important for us. Great to see sophomore Frank Fee get a shutout in his first varsity start as well.”
The Wildcats dominated the game from the get-go. They outshot the Ice Bears 37-13 and scored their first goal just 1:08 into the game. Cruising into the Ice Bears’ zone, sophomore Andrew Malek passed the puck across the blue line to sophomore Tim Rooney. A defender knocked the puck from Rooney’s stick to the left boards where USM senior Brandon McGill controlled it. McGill passed it to Malek who had gone behind the net. Malek swirled out front and stuffed the puck inside the right post.
The Wildcats scored again at 10:39 of the first period. From the USM zone, Senior Leo Simanonok moved the puck ahead to Logan Geisness, who was skating rapidly toward the Germantown end. Sophomore Robby Newton sped along, creating a two-on-one. As Newton cut down the Germantown slot, Geisness feathered him a pass. Newton fired. Newton scored. 2-0 USM.
The Wildcats made it 3-0 just before the end of the first period. Like a jet on a mission, freshman Casey Roepke flew out of the USM zone along the left boards. As he crossed the Germantown blue line, he moved into the circle and fired a wrist shot. Germantown’s sophomore goalie, Chris Clement, stuck out his blocker, stopping the shot. But to his utter dismay, the puck leaped into the air and arced down into the net just three seconds before the end of the first period.
The Wildcats delivered a telling blow when the Wildcats scored their next goal. It came with just thirty seconds into the second period removing any momentum the Ice Bears hoped to engender coming out of the break. Junior Will Kennedy stopped a Germantown clearing attempt at the blue line and sent it back down the right boards to Epperson. Epperson whirled out of the corner like a dancing Dervish. As he crossed the top of the circle, he gunned a shot past Clement.
The Wildcats scored four more goals in the second period. The first of these came when USM had a four vs. three power play. In the Germantown zone, sophomore Christian Blomquist got the puck low on the right boards. He sent it to Malek bhind the net. Malek skated backwards toward the left corner, then fed the puck to Blomquist in the right corner. Blomquist skated out front and tried to jam the puck past Clement. The rebound bounced out to Malek in the low left circle, and he immediately fired it into the net at 8:47.
USM took a six-goal lead just over a minute later. Regrouping in center ice, Malek got the puck and skated into the Ice Bears’ end down the slot. As he took a step to the left to draw the defenseman away, he backhanded a pass right to Newton’s stick. Newton one-timed a shot past Clement at 9:52.
USM’s sixth goal put the clock on running time, but The Wildcats still had time for two more goals in the period. One occurred at 15:15. Stopping the puck from crossing the Germantown blue line, senior defenseman Charlie Mahoney passed it down the left boards to freshman Blake Carey. Carey skated behind the net then passed the puck out front to Riley Hill. With the calm assurance of a senior, Hill snapped a shot into the net.
The Wildcats scored their next goal at the start of a power play. Geisness took the draw and pushed the puck to Epperson on the right boards. The shifty winger stepped into the circle and blasted a shot into the net at 16:53.
USM scored three more goals in the third period. The Wildcats made the score 9-0 at 6:49. Freshman Tyler Herzberg moved the puck to Blomquist behind the Germantown net. Blomquist whipped the puck out front to sophomore Carson Mogush who one-timed it past Clement.
The Wildcats sored their next goal on some neat passing while on a power play. Off a face off in the Germantown zone, the Wildcats set up shop. The puck went to Roepke at the middle of the blue line. He passed it to Epperson at the top of the right circle. Epperson looked for shot. Seeing nothing available, he gave the puck back to Roepke. Roepke took several steps to the left and passed the puck to Geisness on the left mid-boards. Geisness skated into the circle and rifled a shot into the net at 10:49.
The Wildcats scored the game’s final goal at 12:08. Epperson got the puck in the right corner of the Germantown zone. He skated up the boards and passed it to Hill in the near circle. Hill quickly threw it in front to McGill who smacked into the net.
The win gave USM a 2-0 record after the first weekend of the 2016 season. The Wildcats play D.C. Everest in a non-conference game on Friday, December 2nd at D.C. Everest High School in Wausau at 7:00 pm.