Top-seeded University School held off scrappy Onalaska on the first game of Quarterfinal Thursday, skating off with a narrow 4-3 victory.
Onalaska got the first tally of the tournament off a University School turnover behind the net.
Carter Stobb grabbed the loose puck below the goal line and sent a pass out front, where Andrew Walz was waiting. One quick shot later and Onalaska held a 1-0 lead, just 3:33 into the opening stanza.
USM was the recipient of an iffy boarding call, which put Brennan Mason into the box for five minutes. The Wildcats took a couple minutes to acclimate themselves and then evened the game with Robby Newton's shot from the top of the right circle, beating Onalaska goalie Jack Weber on the glove side.
Late in the period, USM worked its special team magic again, this time while on the PK.
Forechecking deep, Carson Mogush stopped a pass and flipped a shot that bounced off Weber and into the net for a 2-1 USM lead with 1:32 left.
The period ended with a 12-9 shot edge for USM.
Early in the second, USM had a great chance but saw it negated by a good defensive play by Ryan Gargaro.
Newton got ahead of the pack and as he was cutting in front of the goalie, Gargaro turned the USM player just enough that the lost control of the puck less than a minute into the period.
Onalaska got the next goal to tie the game just over four minutes in.
After a couple of stopped shots by USM goalie Patrick Kelly, Will Bryant cleaned up with a rebound goal from the slot, with an assist to Mason Manglitz.
A couple minutes later, with both teams short a player due to penalties, USM grabbed the lead again.
Ethan Mann walked across the slot from left to right and slid a shot behind Weber as the goalie moved across the crease. Ethan Ford and Tyler Herzberg got assists on the play.
The period ended with the 3-2 score and shots were 10-6 in favor.
Ona tied the game early in the third on a goal by Will Bryant. The senior scooped up a loose puck at the bottom of the left circle and ripped a shot past Kelly for the equalizer. Max Popp got a helper on the play.
A minute later, USM got the game-winner on a 2-on-2 rush, led by a pair of defensemen.
Casey Roepke had the puck in the middle of the ice and slid a pass over to Jacob Como, who took a couple strides and flipped a backhander past Weber with 12:20 left.
With about six minutes left, Ona's Jake Ziegelbein got a pass on the backdoor but Kelly was up to task and slid over to make the key save.
Tim Ebner called a time-out and pulled Weber with 36 seconds left, but USM held fast and escaped with the 4-3 win. Shots were 6-6 in the period.
Kelly stopped 22 shots in earning the win, while Weber played well on his end, making 20 saves for the Hilltoppers.