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USM squeezes past Marquette in Classic Eight battle

02/03/2018, 1:00am CST
By Tom Geilfuss, USM Assistant Coach

Wildcats score final two goals in 4-2 win

In the annual clash between Classic Eight Conference arch-rivals, the University School boys’ hockey team defeated Marquette 4-2 in on Thursday, February 1st before a good-sized crowd at Eble Park Ice Arena in Brookfield.

The action see-sawed up and down the ice, and the scoring went back and forth.   USM outshot the Hilltoppers 34-26 in the game.  Casey Roepke, Ethan Mann, Andrew Malek and Tyler Herzberg scored goals for the Wildcats, while Tyler Reineck and Jacob Armbruster scored for Marquette.  Patrick Kelly made 24 saves in net for USM.  His counterpart, Zach Schmidt stopped 30 of USM’s attempts.

Jason Woods, USM’s head coach, described the game, saying, “Another great game off a solid test for us tonight.  We know going in that we are going to get Marquette’s best effort every time we face them so to get out of the building with the win is great to see.  We were able to generate offense and play our typical solid defense.  I see a lot I like in this group.”

Reineck got the scoring started early in the first period.  As the Hilltoppers forechecked, George Schelble stopped a USM clearing pass at the left point.  He gunned the puck toward the net and Reineck tipped it past Kelly at 5:35.

USM tied it a few minutes later while on a power play. Christian Blomquist gained control of the puck in the left corner of Marquette’s end.  He centered it into the slot to Blake Carey.  Carey fired a low shot that rebounded off Schmidt’s pads. It bounced to Roepke in the right circle and he swiftly one-timed a shot into the net at 8:26.

The Wildcats took their first lead of the game in the opening minutes of the second period.  Reid Woods intercepted a Hilltopper pass in the high slot of the Marquette zone.  He wound up and took a shot.  A Hilltopper dove in front of the shot to stop it.  Mann pulled it away from the prone defender, circled to the right side, and whipped a shot into the net at 2:04.

The Hilltoppers answered seconds later.  Off the ensuing center ice face off, the puck went to Schelble at the Marquette blue line.  He buzzed a pass to Armbruster who was at the center red line on the far side.  Armbruster skated into the Wildcats’ zone and rifled a shot over Kelly’s shoulder at 2:12.

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USM scored the eventual game winner at 6:22 of the same period.  Malek won a battle for a loose puck deep in the Marquette zone, swirled into the slot, and fired a shot past Schmidt.

The Wildcats scored an insurance goal midway through the third period.  Blomquist got the puck near the USM net. He quickly passed it to Mann who skated the puck into center ice on the right.  Mann then sizzled a pass to Herzberg near the Marquette blue line.  Herzberg raced in on a breakaway and buried a short shot at 8:37.

M arquette is now 14-7-2 and 4-2-1 in the Classic Eight Conference.  The Hilltoppers face off with West Bend in a non-conference battle at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 3rd at the Kettle Moraine Ice Center in West Bend.

USM is 18-3 and 6-1 in the Classic Eight Conference. The Wildcats play Kettle Moraine/Oconomowoc in a Classic Eight Conference game at 5:45 p.m. on Friday, February 2nd at Nagawaukee Ice Arena in Delafield.

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