After a slow start that saw them out-shot 8-3 in the first period, the Neenah/Hortonville/Menasha Rockets turned on the jets to down the Notre Dame Academy Tritons and earn a trip to the State Tournament on Friday night in the Section Five final.
Two power plays in the first helped NDA keep the pressure on Rocket’s goalie Jake Mork, but he kept the puck out of the net, with just a little help from one pipe. Bo Buckley had less action in front of the Triton’s net, but he also came through the period unscathed.
With Mason Marquardt in the Neenah penalty box, Cody Dias picked off a NDA pass in the neutral zone, skated in and fired a shot into the top corner over Buckley’s blocker side shoulder to put the Rockets up 1-0 at 3:41 in the second.
When his two minutes were up, Marquardt came flying out of the penalty box and caught a long pass from the Rocket’s zone. Marquardt skated in on Buckley and fired a shot from the hash-marks over the same shoulder to extend the NHM lead to 2-0.
With heavy pressure again on the NDA goal, Ethan Long picked up a loose puck behind the net and scored a wrap-around goal to make it 3-0 at 12:47 in the second.
The Rockets out-shot the Tritons 16 to 5 in the second period while building their lead.
With less than two minutes to play and on the power play, NDA pulled Buckley for an extra attacker. Dillon Fox knocked down a break-out pass from a Triton defenseman and had an easy walk-in goal to finish the scoring at 4-0.