Overtime win for Waupaca
By Greg Seubert
It was only a matter of time before Markie Ash was able to make her mark.
The junior’s goal with 49 seconds left in overtime broke a 3-3 tie and gave the Waupaca Area Ice girls’ hockey team a 4-3 win over Lakeland/Tomahawk/Mercer Jan. 2 at the Waupaca Expo Center.
The Ice improved to 2-0 in Great Northern Conference play, while the Thunderbirds fell to 0-2.
It looked like the Ice would get a 3-2 win with time winding down in regulation, but the Thunderbirds’ Asucena Boyer tied the game with 21 seconds on the clock.
Neither team found the net again until Ash beat goalie Erin Sparks.
“The bottom line is we found a way at the end to get it done,” coach Dan Bauer said. “I’m just really excited for the girls. They worked hard and they deserve to get that one.”
Neither team scored until Avrey Simonson’s unassisted goal 1:50 into the second period gave the Ice a 1-0 lead. The Thunderbirds answered at the 10:43 mark with Makayla Fultz’s goal and took their only lead with 3:41 to go in the period on Jolie Quamme’s goal.
However, Simonson tied the game with 2:09 remaining in the period off of an assist from Ash to send the teams into the locker room tied at 2-2.
Jamie Slattery scored with 3:38 to go in regulation off of an assist from Ash and Katarina Otter-Giese and the Ice had the lead until Boyer’s goal in the final minute.
Ice goalie Anna Ryder stopped 27 of the Thunderbirds’ 30 shots, while Sparks finished with 22 saves.
“We talked about how we have to get more pucks to the net and make (Sparks) work a little harder,” Bauer said. “The first period, we didn’t get that done, but in the second and third and in the overtime, we did a better job. She is just so tough on that first shot. We had second looks with wide-open nets, but we couldn’t put the puck in the net.
“With her, it’s all about two things: getting traffic in front of her so she has a difficult time finding the puck and then keeping that first shot low so we can create a second opportunity,” he added. “It gets in her glove and it’s not coming out. With goalies like that, you have to try to take away their eyes and you have to try and score when they’re out of position.”
The Ice didn’t have much time to enjoy the win, as Waupaca Area was back on the ice Jan. 3 against Appleton United in a nonconference game at the Appleton Family Ice Center.
The team will return to Great Northern play at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6, at home against Medford.
“We talked about trying to stay undefeated in the conference and we were able to do that,” Bauer said. “We have another one coming up on Friday so hopefully, we can stretch it out again.”