West Salem struck early and then held on in a game that was interrupted by 13 penalties as they doubled up on Eau Claire North 4-2 Saturday afternoon at Hobbs Ice Arena.
It only took the Panthers 39 seconds to put a '1' on the scoreboard.
After a North cross-checking infraction put the Huskies on the PK, Cayden Krause took advantage and scored just eight seconds in with an assist from Colton Meyer.
The Panthers committed three penalties in a ten minute span midway through the period before the hosts knocked one home to tie the contest.
Jeffrey Pippenger scored his lucky 13th goal of the year from the slot area, with helpers going to Sam Stange and Zac Stange at the 12:23 mark of the period.
The period ended with that tie score. North goalie Tyler Schreiter stopped 11 shots in the period, while his WS counterpart Mitch Hammes had eight saves.
The guests scored twice in a four minute span early in the middle stanza to take a 3-1 lead.
Just over two minutes into the period, Krause scored his second goal from the low left circle to make it 2-1. Jack Gorniak and Joseph Oldendorf earned assists on the play.
The Panthers had a 5-on-3 for 15 seconds early in the period but couldn't take advantage. But they did tally shortly before the power play expired.
Ryan Beirne put the puck in the net from the low left side to make it 3-1 just under six minutes in, with assists to Gorniak and Jake Whitbeck.
The teams exchanged penalties in the middle part of the period, but it was the hosts that got on the board.
Midway through the PP, Sam Stange fired a shot from the left dot that went bar down past Hammes to cut the lead to 3-2. Ryan Venne and Pippenger notched helpers on the play with just over four minutes left.
That's how the middle period ended, with the hosts trailing by one goal. Schreiter made 14 saves for North, while Hammes stopped 11 pucks for West Salem.
North (11-6) came oh-so-close to tying the game early in the third after a Curtis Goodale shot from the right side bounced off the goalie and ended up near the stick of Pippenger on the back doorstep, but the puck took an odd bounce and ended up in the corner instead of the back of the net four minutes in.
Both teams were fired up in the final period and their high energy led to feistiness which led to four combined penalties in the next seven minutes of play with West Salem being assessed with three of them.
WS coach Eric Borre called a timeout with 4:09 left prior to a penalty kill, giving his team a chance to get a brief breather and to discuss strategy. It worked well as the Panthers killed off the penalty to cling to the 3-2 lead.
With a little over a minute left, North coach Ryan Parker took his timeout and then a few seconds later, pulled Schreiter for a extra attacker.
But as usually happens (we should do research on that sometime), the other team struck with an empty-netter to blow up the best-laid plans of Parker to make it 4-2 with 49 seconds left. Oldendorf got the goal, with Gorniak earning his playmaker on the tally.
Hammes stopped all nine shots to finish with 28 saves in the game for the win, while Schreiter had three saves to also finish with 28.
West Salem improved to 14-1 and will be severely tested in the upcoming week, as they play four games in six days, finishing with SPASH at The Meat Locker on Saturday.