Freshman Ethan Mann scored two goals and an assist to lead the University School boys’ hockey team to a 3-1 victory over Arrowhead in a Classic Eight Conference game on Thursday, December 7th at USM.
It was not a pretty game. The two teams amassed 19 penalties in the hard-hitting match, 10 by the Wildcats and 9 by the visiting Warhawks.
Jason Woods, USM’s head coach commented on the rough and tumble affair, “Certainly not the best game we played this year. Arrowhead did a great job of slowing the game down and taking our speed away. We needed to find another different way to win, and, to the guys’ credit, they did just that. We have been talking about the ability to get some secondary scoring, and tonight it paid off. Tyler Herzberg got the scoring started, and Ethan Mann finished it off. Awesome game by that group. I also want to mention our team defense. Giving up 13 shots with all those power plays, including two long five on threes, is an incredible feat. Onto Fondy Saturday.”
While facing multiple opponent power plays, junior Gordy Leech, USM’s goaltender stopped 12 of the Warhawks shots on net. Peter Genatempo, Arrowhead’s senior goalie, made 19 saves between the pipes.
USM opened the scoring while the teams were at even strength early in the first period. As the Wildcats forechecked, Mann swooped along the right mid-boards and collected a loose puck. He dashed around the corner. As a defenseman closed on him, he centered a pass to sophomore Tyler Herzberg, who was stationed in the slot like he was waiting all alone at a bus stop. Herzberg one-timed a shot past Genatempo at 2:30.
Arrowhead tied the score several minutes later while killing a penalty. Senior Jaxson Carr knocked the puck into center ice and took off after it. He skated away on a one-on-one. Crossing the USM blue line, he blazed a quick shot past Leech at 11:41.
Mann put USM to stay with a power play goal early in the second period. Taking a faceoff in the Warhawks left circle, sophomore TJ Fenton pulled the back. Mann skated off the boards, snared the puck, and sped across the circle into the slot. Just before being checked, he unleashed a low shot that beat Genatempo at 4:28.
The fans that filled the stands watched as both teams executed fruitless power plays through the remainder of the second period and on into the third.
Mann gave the Wildcats some necessary breathing room with an even strength goal midway through the final stanza. Taking a face off in the Warhawks’ right circle, Mann drew the puck back to the edge of the circle. Herzberg won a battle for it there and popped it back into the circle to Mann. Mann toe-dragged the puck around a defender then briskly fired a shot inside the far post for the goal at 8:41.
The action stayed furious until the final tick of the clock, but neither team could score again. USM send the Warhawks back on the trail in search of victory.
Junior Robby Newton, one of the assistant captains on the USM team, noted, “The boys played well. Our penalty kill was extremely good tonight and stopped two five-on-threes. We got the job done. Not necessarily pretty, but Ethan stepped up and led us in the game.”
Arrowhead’s record fell to 2-3-1 and 1-1 in the Classic Eight Conference. USM is 6-1 and 2-0 in the conference. Both teams travel to Fond du lac for games on Saturday, December 9th. The Warhawks take on Fond du lac Springs in a non-conference game at 11:30 a.m. at the Blue Line Ice Center in Fond du Lac. The Wildcats play Fond du Lac High School in a non-conference game at 2:00 p.m. at the same venue.