Waupaca hockey coach Randy Flesch can now head to the seeding meeting for the upcoming state tournament feeling a little better about his team’s chances.
The Comets faced three teams in their tournament bracket – De Pere, Ashwaubenon and Bay Port – and came out with a pair of wins and an overtime loss.
Waupaca defeated De Pere 4-3 in overtime Saturday, Jan. 28; knocked off Ashwaubenon 3-2 Friday, Jan. 27; and dropped a 7-6 overtime loss to Bay Port Tuesday, Jan. 24.
Although the nonconference games don’t affect the Great Northern Conference standings, they should help the Comets when it comes to determining tournament seeds.
Waupaca 4, De Pere 3 (OT)
WAUPACA – Jordan Erickson scored the gamewinner 1:25 in overtime off of an assist from his brother, Jared.
Jon Cameron put De Pere on the board 4:09 into the game, but Waupaca’s Cooper Flesch tied the game with 1:49 to go in the period off of an assist from Jared Erickson.
The Voyageurs regained the lead 1:06 into the second period on Will Reabe’s power play goal, but Waupaca tied it again four minutes later on Jared Erickson’s goal, with Bjorn Asher and Sam Menzies sharing credit for the assist. De Pere, however, answered three minutes later with Trace Jocewicz’s goal that gave the Voyageurs a 3-2 lead heading into the third period.
Waupaca came up with the game’s only goal 45 seconds into the final period, as Jordan Erickson scored off of an assist from Asher and Jared Erickson to tie the game at 3-3.
Waupaca had a pair of power play opportunities in the final minutes, but couldn’t find the net.
De Pere goalie Ross Kulick stopped 17 of the 18 shots he faced in the third period.
“He stood on his head in the first period and the third,” Flesch said. “When you shoot that many pucks at him, it’s a matter of time and we had to weather the storm. I didn’t want to go into overtime. I wanted to get that fourth goal in that last power play. It just didn’t fall for us.”
Flesch called the game a must-win for his team.
“We had to win this game,” he said. “De Pere is looking at being seeded seventh or eighth. We don’t want to be arguing for seventh or eighth. We want to wrap up whatever spot we want and I think we did that tonight.”
Waupaca 3, Ashwaubenon 2
ASHWAUBENON – Asher, Jordan Erickson and Flesch scored for Waupaca.
Bay Port 7, Waupaca 6 (OT)
Bay Port’s Drew Cleereman scored the winning goal with 3:55 remaining in overtime.
Jared Erickson has four goals and an assist for Waupaca, while Asher and Hunter Vezina also found the net.
Asher had two assists to lead Waupaca and Flesch and Jordan Erickson added one each.
Waupaca outshot the Pirates 34-30 and Comet goalie Zach Martin finished with 23 saves.
Drew Neuville had a hat trick for Bay Port.
Waupaca will return to GNC action at 7 tonight (Thursday, Feb. 2) at home against Medford before heading to Minocqua Saturday, Feb. 4, for a 7 p.m. rematch with Lakeland. The Comets are then off until wrapping up the regular season at home Saturday, Feb. 10, against Northland Pines. The winner of that game will likely end up as conference champion.