University School of Milwaukee's Alex Thundercloud hit Totino-Grace senior Jake Wacek (14), knocking him off balance and preventing a shot on goal in the third period. Wacek had two goals for the Eagles in a 5-3 loss. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
Totino-Grace defenseman Colin Neilsen (17) got knocked off course by University School of Milwaukee junior Casey Roepke. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
For two periods, the University School of Milwaukee controlled play in its Schwan's Cup Bronze Division championship game against Totino-Grace at the University of Minnesota's Ridder Arena in Minneapolis Tuesday.
But despite a 38-12 advantage in shots, the Wildcats were tied with Totino-Grace 2-2.
"We just had to stay positive on the bench in the locker room," said University School of Milwaukee forward Robby Newton. "We were playing well, but we had to just keep rolling."
And the Wildcats did get rolling, scoring two goals early in the third period and adding a late empty-netter to claim a 5-3 victory.
"You know you're going to get one eventually," said University School of Milwaukee coach Jason Woods of his team, which is ranked No. 2 in Wisconsin. "It just takes time, and when you get one, your confidence rises and you get a couple more.”
Newton and linemate Tyler Herzberg each scored twice for the Wildcats, who are now 10-1 on the season.
Totino-Grace had won eight of its last nine games before the loss.
The teams played a scoreless first period, although the Eagles (8-4, 4-0) spent much of the period in their own defensive zone and were outshot 20-6. But Totino-Grace was whistled for a penalty just 45 seconds into the second period, and University School of Milwaukee took advantage as Newton scored 1 minute, 35 seconds into the period. When Herzberg combined with Newton to score on a nifty passing play just 1 minute, 4 seconds later, it appeared the Wildcats were ready to run away with the contest.
University School of Milwaukee's Blake Carey (25) is denied a followup shot on goal by Totino-Grace goalie Jon Howe (30). Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
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