In the game of hockey, dominating in the territorial battle and in shots on goal doesn’t necessarily lead to success. Notre Dame Academy found out that truth on Saturday in the 3rd place game of the Wausau West Warrior Hockey Invitational.
Despite a 46-24 edge in shots, the Tritons fell to Antigo 4-2 at the Marathon Park Ice Arena. Red Robins’ goalie Broden Bunnell was outstanding, stopping 44 of the 46 shots he faced to help Antigo turn the tables on Notre Dame after falling 6-1 to the Tritons at Cornerstone Community Center just 11 days ago.
Despite being on the ice past 10:30 Friday night in their 2-1 semifinal loss to Wausau West, Notre Dame Academy came out flying in the first period.
However, despite a 17-4 advantage in shots in the first 17 minutes, the Tritons could only manage a 1-0 lead as Jacob Conrad fired a shot over Bunnell’s shoulder from the left face-off circle with 5:13 left in the 1st period. Bunnell made 16 saves to keep Antigo in the game.
NDA continued to control the action early in the 2nd period but couldn’t add to their lead. Then, thanks to a poor line change by Notre Dame, Antigo took advantage of their first solid scoring opportunity to tie the game.
The Robins’ Brennan Spencer completed a 3 on 1 by beating Tritons’ goalie Bo Buckley at 9:49 of the second period to even the score at 1.
Later in the period, Antigo had their first sustained pressure in the NDA zone. After Buckley made a pair of saves, the third time was the charm as Matt Winter gave the Red Robins their first lead of the game with his 4th goal of the season with 2:43 left in the period.
In the final moments of the period Buckley came up big for Notre Dame as he stopped Antigo’s Isaac Wickersheim on a short-handed breakaway with :40 left in the 2nd period to keep it 2-1. Antigo had the lead despite being outshot 32-14 over the first 34 minutes.
Notre Dame had a golden opportunity to get back to even as they started the third period with a 5 on 3 power play but were unable to take advantage.
Antigo was able to find success on a power play of their own to extend the lead to 3-1 as Matt Young scored at 7:57 with assists to Garrett Held and Wickersheim.
The Tritons tried to rally as Bryce Poshak lit the lamp for the 11th time this season to pull NDA to within 3-2 with 6:20 to play.
However, Bunnell continued to play big in goal for Antigo, stopping 13 shots in the third period and then Antigo put it away with an empty net goal from C.J. Levis with :37 left.
Notre Dame Academy lost for the third straight game as they fall to 10-6-2 while Antigo stops a 3-game slide of their own in improving to 6-10-1.