The Wausau West Warriors used a highly efficient power play to knock the West Salem/Bangor Panthers out of the State tournament in the final quarter-final game on Thursday night in a 7-0 washout.
West Salem/Bangor came out banging, hitting anything that moved. And even a few things that were standing still.
With two and a half minutes left in the first period, Jack Gorniak was penalized for hitting a Wausau West player after the whistle. With the ensuing face off in the Panthers zone, the Warriors wasted no time getting the puck to the net. After a save by Mitch Hammes, a West Salem defenseman fanned on an attempt to clear the puck from the front of the net. Zach Pearson grabbed the puck and put it through Hammes’ legs just nine seconds into the power play.
Four minutes into the second period, the Panthers Colton Meyer was penalized for head contact. It took only six seconds this time for Mick Techel to cash in for Wausau with a wrist shot from the hash marks.
With five minutes to play in the period, Jake Whitbeck of West Salem drew a slashing penalty. Panthers coach Eric Borre used his time out to get his penalty killers prepared. The strategy was only partially successful in that it took the Warriors and Christian Bardarson 1:42 to score on the power play.
Wausau picked up an even strength goal five minutes into the third period when Max Zingler picked up a carom off the back boards and roofed a shot from the edge of the crease. Cade Lemmer followed it up with goal three minutes later from the left face-off circle.
Down 5-0 with 4:40 to play in their season, West Salem sent Adam Helgeson in to replace Hammes in the net. The Warriors welcomed him to the game 35 seconds later with a goal from Max Techel.