Thursday night's WiPH Game of the Week had some interesting storylines as Northland Pines tangled with the host SPASH Panthers at the KB Willett Arena in Stevens Point.
Both teams had yet to suffer a loss in the first month of the season.
Despite being located over 100 miles apart and playing in different conferences, there is a healthy rivalry between the Eagles and the Panthers.
Did I mention it was Parents Night for the home squad?
Mix those all together in hockey's version of an Instant Pot, and two hours later the result was a narrow 3-2 victory for the guests, who came into the game with honorable mention status, in a very exciting contest.
The home boys got on the scoreboard first, just over five minutes in when Nick Norrgran ripped a shot from the right dot that beat Pines goalie Brett Wilkins high glove to make it 1-0 on the unassisted goal.
During the middle part of the period, two consecutive Pines penalties gave SPASH 60 seconds of 5-on-3 action. Forty-six ticks of the clock later, SPASH had a 2-0 lead, much to the delight of their cheering section. Trey Zagrzebski beat the goalie high on the blocker side with his shot from the low left circle. Dayne Hoyord and Cole Beilke got helpers on the play at the 10:27 mark of the first.
Hoyord and Barrett Brooks couldn't quite connect on a 2-on-1 rush when the puck trickled off Brooks' stick as time expired. Wilkins and SPASH's Spencer Wierzba each stopped seven shots in the stanza.
Pines (8-0) scored the only goal in the middle period on Brady Snedden's goal from the low left circle that beat the goalie between the post and blocker. Riley McGee got an assist on the power play goal to make it 2-1 with just under seven minutes left to play in the period.
Wierzba stopped 12 shots for SPASH, while Wilkins made 10 saves for the Eagles.
Snedden tied the game for Pines in the middle of the third period when he grabbed a pass in the slot and slid the puck under the goalie pads of the SPASH netminder. Harmon Marien and Jack Rhode had assists on the game-tying score.
Four minutes later, Gunnar Schiffmann scored the game-winner when he skated across the slot and pitchforked the puck over the goalie's left shoulder. Cooper Cox had the assist.
With 1:37 left, SPASH called time to discuss strategy. With the face-off in the Pines d-zone, Wierzba came off for an extra attacker.
SPASH put pressure on the Pines defense, but the Eagles sextet on the ice kept the puck out of the net and skated off with the one-goal win.
Wilkins had nine saves in the period and finished with a game total of 26. Wierzba stopped 10 pucks in the period and ended with 29 in the contest.
The fifth-ranked Panthers dropped to 6-1 with their loss.