West Bend faced off in their third matchup of the GLHL tournament Saturday night at the Kettle Moraine Ice Center. West Bend defeated Monroe in their first game on Friday night by the score of 15-2. Saturday afternoon they hosted Fox Cities in what would be their first of two matchups. West Bend won 5-4 in a very back and forth game clinching their Pool A victory. Fox Cities would go on to be the wild card team as they had the best goal differential out of the non pool winners. West Bend and Fox Cities would have to matchup again to decide who would go to the GLHL championship.
The game was delayed by over an hour after some issues with ice time at the Ozaukee Ice Center where Fond du Lac was playing Marquette. The puck was dropped after 9:30 PM. The first period saw no scoring from either team. Shots were 13-10 in favor of Fox Cities. Bomber forward Tanner Tryggestad capitalized on a Fox Cities turnover to put West Bend up by one. The game began to get extremely physical during the second period as tensions were high with both teams’ seasons on the line. The officials were being very lenient on their calls as it was an elimination game, only calling seven penalties. With under 12 minutes to go West Bend defender Tom Lindgren was called for a roughing penalty after a scrum behind the West Bend net. Fox Cities evened up the game with a powerplay goal from Pete Eloranta. That would be all of the scoring in regulation.
The story of this game so far had been the goaltenders. Each goalie recorded at least thirty saves only allowing one goal each had kept their respective teams in the game. Billy Sias was between the pipes for West Bend while Drew Chaney netminded for Fox Cities. In a battle of goaltending Billy Sias and his team emerged as the winners as Chaney let in a garbage goal in front from Russell Johnson. The shot was fired from the blue line by Bomber defenseman Trammell Lynes. Tanner Tryggestad got his stick on it which led to a deflection. From there it found Johnsons stick and the back of the net. Sias stopped 30 of 31 shots while Chaney stopped 36 of 38 shots.
West Bend will play host to the Mosinee Papermakers today at 1:30 PM. This will be West Bend’s third trip to the final in four years as they look for their first ever GLHL tournament title.