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Big finish helps Voyageurs sail past Waupaca

By Michael Trzinski, WiPH Staff, 02/15/19, 1:00AM CST


DePere scores last four goals in 5-3 Sectional 5 win

On a windy, snowy February evening in Waupaca, the DePere Voyageurs did something no other road team did on this Valentine's Day—they bumped off the higher-seeded home team as they came from behind to down the Comets 5-3 at the Waupaca Expo Center.

Of the 27 regional boys' games played, 26 home teams came away victorious.

Although each team had chances in the early going, it wasn't until Davis Levine gathered up a loose puck in the NZ and set sail down the left side before firing a shot from the left dot that beat DePere goalie Brody Van Den Heuvel between the right goalie pad and the post to put the Comets up by one with 5:19 remaining in the period.

The period ended with each team only having three shots on net in that 1-0 stanza.

The middle period proved to be much more fruitful, as each team scored a pair of goals, all in a span of just over six minutes.

Tanner Newton tied the game for DePere on a nice wrap-around goal, with an assist to Grady Coppo at 3:06.

Just over a minute later, Cody Rasmussen put the Comets back in the lead when he scored from the right side while the guests were struggling to get a line change. Jack Menzies assisted on the goal.

Then, just 19 seconds later, Menzies scored on a rebound to put Waupaca back up by two, much to the delight of the mostly partisan crowd.

After a Waupaca penalty, a scramble around Comet goalie Brett Berrens appeared to result in a goal, but after an official consultation, it was determined the puck had not crossed the goal line.

A few minutes later, the Voyageurs did put the puck in the net when Murphy Eggers punched home a rebound from the left side to cut the lead to 3-2. Colton Doyen and Brett Pansier earned helpers on the play.

WiPH Game Summaries

With slightly over a minute to go, the visitors weathered the storm again as Van Den Heuvel made a nice stop on a Mitchell Trzebiatowski breakaway and ducked as Menzies airmailed one over the goalie's head and harmlessly off the glass to keep the score at 3-2, which is how the period ended. Shots were eight apiece in the period.

In the third, Waupaca had a power play chance but failed to score, and then the last few minutes was all DePere.

Menzies' bad luck continued as he went bar-up into the netting with six minutes left.

With DePere on the penalty kill, Michael Thoresen found the puck at the blueline and beat all challengers down the ice as he beat the Comet goalie for the shorty with 4:40 left to tie the game at three.

Less than a minute later, Gabe Andrews scored to put the Voyageurs up by one, with assists to Charlie Eggers and Thoresen.

Waupaca took a time out to settle the troops and grab a much needed one minute break.

Coach John Erspamer pulled his netminder off for an extra attacker two minutes later with a face-off in the DePere defensive zone. The draw ended up going 175 feet the wrong way, into the recently vacated Comet net to put DePere up 5-3. Andrews got credit for the goal, his second, with just 1:13 remaining.

Seventy-three seconds later, the party began for DePere as they celebrated their two-goal victory. Shots were eight apiece, all even-steven in the period. Van Den Heuvel ended with 16 saves, while Berrens stopped 14 for Waupaca.

The #4 seeded Comets ended their fine season with a mark of 15-8-2, while the Voyageurs (#5 seed) improved to 13-8-2 and will tangle with top-seeded Neenah/Hortonville/Menasha next Tuesday in the Sectional 5 semifinals.