Blake Carey scored three power play goals to lead the University School boys’ hockey team to a 4-1 victory over Kettle Moraine/Mukwonago/Oconomowoc in a Classic Eight Conference game on Saturday, January 19th at USM.
The game was closer than the score might indicate. Although the Wildcats outshot KMMO 33-14, the KMMO players had several good opportunities that were not registered in any column on the scoresheet. They had two breakaways that ended with shots that missed the net, and they had two other shots that clanged off the goalposts. But the visitors were only able to put the puck past USM’s goaltender Patrick Kelly, once, not enough to give them a win.
Carey made sure of that. He earned a natural hat trick, scoring the final three USM goals. He also assisted on USM’s first goal. On the play, Jacob Como took a shot from the point and Carey tipped it toward the net. The puck glanced off of the pads of Joseph Greilich and bounced to the stick of Casey Roepke in the left circle. Roepke fell as he shot, but he had enough on the shot to get it into the net just 2:02 into the game.
The Wildcats made it 2-0 while on the first of their four power plays. From the right point, Como zinged a pass to Robby Newton in the lower right circle. Newton shoveled the puck toward the net and followed it. He batted it into Greilich’s pads. In the ensuing battle for the puck in the crease, Carey was able to bop it into the net. Time of the goal was 12:02.
There was no scoring in the second period as KMMO frustrated USM’s typical breakout of a long pass to a wing speeding into center ice and made a better effort of trying to score, especially since USM gave KMMO three of their six power plays in the period.
Carey scored his second goal just 29 seconds into the third period. This time he tipped a point shot by Tyler Herzberg past Greilich to give USM a firm 3-0 lead. Roepke also received credit for an assist during the power play.
KMMO finally tallied a goal at 7:24 of the third period. On a two-on-one play, Justin Rauser skated the puck into the USM net. From the right circle, he lined a pass to Hunter Santos who was steaming toward the far post. Santos stuck out his stick and deflected the puck past Kelly for the goal.
The Wildcats made the score 4-1 just over a minute later while they took advantage of another power play opportunity. Watchful and patient, the USM players passed the puck around the KMMO zone. It eventually went to Ethan Mann near the left mid-boards. He, in turn, passed it to Newton at the right point. Newton fired a low shot that Carey tipped into the net at 8:55.
After the game, Jason Woods, USM’s head coach, said, “An effort good enough to get us a win. Too many penalties, which we have avoided most of the season, hampered us. We need to get back to moving our feet and wanting to own the puck, placing a priority on owning the puck. On the other side, our power play continues to really be excellent. They are exciting to watch. The penalty killing was solid as well. Our special teams carried the day.”
KMMO is 12-4-2 and 3-1-1 in the Classic Eight Conference. The team plays Waukesha in a Classic Eight Conference game at 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, January 29th at Nagawaukee Ice Arena in Delafield.
USM is 16-1 and 4-0 in the Classic Eight Conference. The Wildcats play Kenosha in a Classic Eight Conference game at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 22nd at USM.