The University School boys’ hockey team traveled north to Wausau for a weekend of hockey excitement. In their first game of the weekend, the Wildcats excited the fans who followed them there by defeating D.C. Everest 7-1 in a non-conference game on Friday, November 30th at Greenheck Arena on the D.C. Everest High School campus.
Casey Roepke, one of USM’s captains, commented on the win, “The boys came out and had to find a way to put the puck in the net. And that’s what we did. We are building for tomorrow and the rest of the season, game by game.”
The Wildcats were ready to play from the first drop of the puck; the play was decidedly theirs. USM’s goaltender, Patrick Kelly faced only 8 shots, and stopped 7 of them. In the first period alone, the Wildcats fired 22 of their 63 shots at Ethan Hurt, the Evergreen’s goalie. But, as Roepke noted, it wasn’t until late in the opening frame that the visitors finally figured out how to put the puck past Hurt.
Off a face off near the right boards in center ice, the Wildcats dumped the puck into the D.C. Everest zone. Tyler Herzberg raced to it, stopping it along the left mid-boards. He fired it behind the net. Robby Newton snared it and skated it to the left corner then passed it back to Herzberg. Herzberg took a step toward the net then gunned a shot through a screen for the score at 14:01.
The Wildcats scored their second goal in the opening seconds of the second period on a series of passes coaches dream about. The Wildcats won the opening draw. The puck went back to defenseman Alex Thundercloud, who passed it over to his partner, Roepke. In turn, Roepke moved it ahead to Ethan Mann, and Mann passed it to Herzberg as Herzberg skated along the left boards into the Everest end. Herzberg then centered a pass to Mann who was speeding down the slot. Mann swiftly took a shot that flew past Hurt at 0:11.
USM made it 3-0 just over a minute later. As the Wildcats forechecked, TJ Fenton got the puck in the right circle and fired a shot. Hurt stopped it, and the puck bounced into the right corner. Fenton raced to it, swung out of the corner, and passed the puck to Roepke at the right point. Roepke skated into the high slot then blazed shot into the net at 1:36.
The Evergreens moved a bit closer with a goal at 4:58 of the second period. Parker Hurt took a shot from the point that Kelly stopped. During the ensuing battle for the puck in the crease, Ty Tretter knocked the puck to Grant Oertel at the post. Oertel popped the puck past the sliding goalie at 4:58.
USM made it 4-1 late in the period. At the D.C. Everest blue line, Herzberg picked off an errant Evergreen clearing pass, skated down the slot on a breakaway, and scored at 15:40.
The Wildcats scored three more goals in the third period. The first of the tally trio came at 4:21. As the USM players forechecked, Newton got the puck behind the net. He skated it out through the left circle. He dropped a pass to Roepke at the point. Roepke took two steps toward the Evergreens’ net and fired a low shot. Blake Carey tipped it past Hurt for the goal.
The Wildcats increased their lead to 6-1 while on a power play. As the Wildcats moved the puck around the D.C. Everest end, Carey got it in the right corner. He passed it to Herzberg at the near point. Herzberg returned the pass and then sped toward the net. Carey then passed it to Roepke at the center point. Roepke fired a shot through a screen and into the net at 6:08.
The Wildcats finished their scoring onslaught while killing a penalty. Sterling Cooke stopped an Evergreen player who was skating through center ice. The puck leaped to Carson Mogush near the Evergreens’ blue line. Mogush skated into the zone, deftly pulled the puck around a defenseman, deked Hurt, and swept the puck into the net at 12:08.
After the game, Carey, who is also a USM captain, said, “Pure domination tonight from the guys. It was a tremendous effort from the squad all around and a big win to start off the weekend. We’ll need to come back tomorrow with the same effort and determination that we came with tonight. It was a great overall win tonight.”
D.C. Everest is now 0-2. The Evergreens turn right around and host another visitor from Milwaukee at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 1st. They take on Marquette in a non-conference game at Greenheck Ice Arena on the D.C. Everest campus in Wausau.
USM is 4-0. The Wildcats play Wausau West in a non-conference game at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 1st at Marathon Park Ice Arena in Wausau.