Garrett Wilderman scored late in the overtime period to send the Waukesha Wings to the state final with a 5-4 win over the Sun Prairie Cardinals Friday night in the first semifinal game at the Clamshell.
Sun Prairie got started early on a 2-on-1 rush when Kaden Brunson grabbed a cross-ice pass on the backdoor and beat Waukesha goalie Garrett Larsen. The goal came at the 2:11 mark and had assists from Noah Nehmer and Drake Hamele.
The balance of the period was scoreless, even though both teams had a pair of power play chances. Shots were 9-7 in favor of Sun Prairie.
The Wings began the second period with a 5-on-3 power play for 90 seconds but did not score.
They waited until they were back to even strength and made it 1-1. Ian Malcolmson grabbed a loose puck behind the net and sent a centering pass to Chad Larsen, who scored from the low left side. Ben Sheppard also had an assist.
Just over a minute later, it was Sheppard's turn. While there was a delayed penalty call, the Waukesha goalie came out for an extra skater and the defenseman fired a shot from the right point through traffic to make it 2-1. Garrett Wilderman earned the assist.
In keeping with the trend of the playmaker from the previous goal scoring, Wilderman used a great individual effort to stretch the lead to 3-1. His first shot from the slot bounced off the crossbar and out to the low right side. Wilderman grabbed the bouncing puck and roofed it past Sun Prairie goalie Sam Dunn with just over three minutes left in the period.
The period ended with Waukesha on a power play, with 1:24 remaining at period end.
The Wings, who dominated the period, held a huge 21-2 shot edge.
Waukesha made it 4-1 on a power play goal by Malcolmson, who took a pass from the right side and one-timed a bullet past Dunn. Chad Larsen and Sheppard earned helpers on the play.
But as much as Wayne Larrivee would have liked to say 'there's your dagger,' it was not to be as the Cardinals put together a run of three goals to tie the game.
With just under ten minutes left, Noah Nehmer cut the lead to 4-2, with an assist to Dawson Gardner.
Then with time running out, Kyle Hagerman took matters into his own hands and tallied a pair of goals in the last three minutes. He skated down the left side, got down low, and beat Larsen on the short side over the blocker. Conor Mikula earned the assist.
Dunn came out for an extra skater with 1:26 left and it took quite a while, but Hagerman grabbed a pass on the back door and put the game-tying goal into the net with 15 seconds left.
That took the game to the extra period, with the Cards outshooting the Wings 7-4.
In the extra period, Larsen made two or three spectacular scrambling saves before the Wings took the puck the other way. Garrett Wilderman raced to win a loose puck, got ahead of the pack, made a deke on Dunn and finished off with the game winner with 1:13 left.
Shots were 6-4 in favor of Sun Prairie.
Larsen ended with 20 saves, while Dunn stopped 31 pucks for the Cards.