Waukesha got great goalie work from Garrett Larsen and just enough scoring to grab a 3-2 win over #2 seed Wausau West in the first game of the Quarterfinal Thursday evening session.
The Wings got on the board first just 1:38 into the contest.
A shot from the right circle was re-directed by Ethan Thombs past West goalie Adam Prokop to give Waukesha a 1-0 lead. Assists went to Trenton Tucker and Garrett Wilderman.
West had a good chance to tie the game with just over six minutes left, but Cade Lemmer didn't get good wood on the backdoor shot and it went wide right.
But less than a minute later, West did not fail, capitalizing on a power play.
Just 13 seconds into the man advantage, Ty Bailey beat Larsen high on the blocker side to tie the contest at one. Jacob Cebula and Austin Federici got assists on the scoring play.
The period ended with West holding a large 16-5 shot advantage.
The Warriors went ahead early in the second when Marc Sippel sent a pass across the slot to Sam Techel, who slid the puck past Larsen's right skate. The goal came at the 36 second mark of the period.
The Wings would come back to tie the game four minutes later.
Tyler Dale sent a pass from the left boards to the high slot, where it was grabbed by Wilderman. The junior forward got the puck on his stick, turned and fired a shot on the ice that beat Prokop between his left skate and the post.
There was no further scoring. Shots in the period were 20-5, West.
After a late West penalty in the second and one to start the third, Waukesha had 43 seconds of 5-on-3 power play. And it appeared they scored the go-ahead goal, but an official review determined the puck was kicked in.
As the 5-on-4 was winding down, Lemmer screamed down the right side, tucked his left shoulder and tried to score, crossing in front of Larsen. But the senior Player of the Year finalist slid over and made a nice right pad save.
A minute later, Waukesha got the game-winner.
Riley Cassada passed the puck from the right circle to Chad Larsen in the slot and he fired a shot on the ice past Prokop with just over 14 minutes left.
Then it was West's turn to play 5-on-3. For 77 seconds, Larsen and the Wings PK crews kept the puck out of the net to keep the lead at 3-2.
West took a timeout with 1:37 left and just a few seconds later, a West shot from the low right side bounced off the post and rolled behind Larsen, but the goalie alertly covered the puck to get the whistle.
Prokop came out with 1:12 left but West was unable to score as the Wings grabbed the one-goal victory in a slight upset. Shots in the final period were 18-4.
Larsen ended with 52 saves in a state tourney record performance for saves in one game, while Prokop stopped 11 on his end for West.