February 16, 2022 – West Bend, WI – It was an intense game with each team’s season on the line. Neither team scored in the first two periods, but not for a lack of effort, as the Ice Bears put up 17 shots on goal, while Appleton United managed a mere 13 shots on goal despite five power play opportunities (including one 5 on 3 power play for 39 seconds).
The penalties against the Ice Bears seemed a bit questionable considering the physical nature of both teams throughout the game, but the Ice Bears penalty kill rose to the occasion regardless.
The third period started with a bang, as just 41 seconds in, West Bend East sophomore Cameron McCormack got the Ice Bears on the board.
The ice effectively tilted in the Ice Bears favor, putting far more consistent pressure on Appleton’s net. McCormack would again, unassisted to put the Ice Bears up 2-0 with just under 4 minutes left to play.
Appleton refused to go quietly though, as with 2:22 left in the game Appleton North junior Tyler Heil scored (assisted by Appleton East sophomore Kenny Kapheim and Appleton North senior Brendan Lemery) to make it 2-1. With 1:39 left to play the Ice Bears responded with a goal by West Bend East junior Peyton Fountain (assisted by McCormack) that was the result of a massive pile-up of players in the Appleton net.
The Ice Bears put the exclamation point on their victory with an empty net goal by West Bend East junior Sawyer Licthensteiger with 48 seconds left. Ice Bears goalie West Bend West junior Charlie Eckert finished the saving 18 out of 19 shots against him.
The Ice Bears hope to continue their playoff run when they travel to battle the Neenah Co-op on Thursday, February 17 at 7 p.m.