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Fox Cities Stars shine brightly in earning first state trip

By Michael Trzinski, WiPH Staff, 02/23/19, 6:00AM CST


Stars win 'Battle of the Hatties'

Girls named 'Hattie' are fairly rare these days, especially for young ladies born in the 21st century. But tonight, not only did both Fox Cities and the Warbirds Alliance have a 'Hattie' on their teams, but both of them played key roles in the outcome of the Sectional 4 final game played Friday evening at the Fond du Lac Blue Line Ice Center.

Hattie Berndt's Fox Cities team got inspired goalie play to defeat Hattie Verstegen's Warbirds Alliance 5-2.

Berndt played arguably her best game of the year, stopping 20 of 22 shots, while Verstegen scored both Alliance goals.

Both squads had early chances, but Verstegen was the first to capitalize. She found a loose puck and punched it past Berndt for the Warbirds first and only lead, with just under three minutes left in the first. Morgan Brown earned a helper on the play.

Fox Cities had 21 seconds of 5-on-3 power play late in the period, but couldn't score, but that would change soon enough. Shots were 7-6 in favor of the Stars in the period.

Just 34 seconds into the middle stanza, Maddy Jablonski put back a rebound to tie the game at one, with assists to Lauryn Hull and Tori Nelson.

Less than a minute later, the Stars went ahead for good when McKayla Zilisch caught a lead feed and beat Warbirds goalie Abby Okon high blocker to make it 2-1. 

The score remained unchanged for most of the period until Kourtney Koster pushed in a puck that seemed to be covered by Okon. After a brief review with the goal judge, Fox Cities had a 3-1 lead.

A minute later, Verstegen got her second goal (and the team's) with her shot from the left point that bounced off the goalie stick and ended up in the net to cut the margin to 3-2. Eve Lundin and Morgan Brown were credited with assists.

WiPH Game Summaries

The period ended with a Fox Cities shot edge of 13-8 in the period.

The Stars added to their lead just 39 seconds into the final period when Nelson's shot from the top of the right circle avoided traffic to tickle the twine behind the goalie.

Morgan Treml scored with eleven minutes left to account for the final score. Zilisch had an assist on the play.

The Warbirds would call a time-out with over four minutes to go and pull Okon shortly after for an extra attacker, but to no avail as the Stars went on for the 5-2 win.

Shot edge went to the Warbirds, 8-6 in the period.

Berndt, as mentioned, made 20 saves while Okon finished with 21.

The Stars (22-4) will make their first state appearance next Friday. The Warbirds finish the season with a fine mark of 21-4.