Bay Area needed more than 48 minutes to find the back of the net during the regular season against the Northern Edge co-op. It took the Ice Bears a lot less time to score in the playoff rematch.
Jordan Brady scored twice and Bay Area rode a hot start to a 4-1 victory over the Northern Edge on Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Cornerstone Community Center in Green Bay.
The rematch was much different than the game the two teams played Feb. 10, which Bay Area won 3-0 after finally scoring with less than three minutes to play in regulation, despite holding a 41-8 edge in shots on goal.
The shot disparity was much closer this time around, with the Ice Bears outshooting the Edge 29-24, but the end result was the same.
“They were playing fast, shooting hard and we actually kept up with them pretty well today,” Northern Edge coach Tom Roeser said. “We outshot them first period, got outshot second period and the third period was a dead heat. It was a good, back-and-forth game, but we just couldn’t find the back of the net.”
Brady got things started for the Green Bay area mega co-op with a goal 1:33 into the contest and Makayla Spejcher added a goal at the 15:35 mark to give Bay Area a 2-0 lead despite being outshot 11-9 in the in the opening stanza.
Aria Van De Hei added a goal at the 13:41 mark of the second to give Bay Area a 3-0 lead and Brady added a clincher with 2:55 remaining in the third to increase the margin to 4-0. Madison Anderson added three assists in the contest for Bay Area.
The Edge finally got on the board with 1:48 remaining as Izzy Boyer tipped home a shot from Alicia Turunen and Maria Gironella.
“We had a lot of pressure on them and the end of the game,” Roeser said. “In that shift, we generated more quality shots. It was a shot from the point that we tipped and it went in. We’ve been working on tip, screen, rebound a lot and it finally happened.”
Junior Anna Maulson got the start for the Edge in net over Turunen, making 25 saves in defeat. Statistically, Turunen (7-4-0, 2.34 GAA, .927 save %) had slightly better numbers than Maulson (6-4-0, 2.87, .911) during the regular season, but Roeser noted Maulson’s 40-save performance in the Feb. 10 contest against the Ice Bears and Turunen’s ability to skate out and add an offensive threat as his reasons for giving Maulson the postseason call.
“We played them last time and had eight shots on goal, so we need offense,” he said. “Anna stood on her head last game (against Bay Area). There’s probably a couple this game she’d want back but, to be honest with you, if we put 25 shots on a goalie and can only put one in the back of the net, that just says we need to score more goals.”
The Edge finished the season — its first with Lakeland, Mercer, Tomahawk and Wabeno high schools as part of the co-op — with a 13-9-0 record. It marked the first time since the 2015-16 season the Edge finished both above .500 and with double-digit wins. The team dropped its final three games of the season.
“We had some growing pains, but midway through the season the girls started doing some unselfish things off the ice,” Roeser said. “It’s kind of translated to them playing better as a team on the ice. It was a new experience for all these girls. I’m proud of them. They had a lot more traveling to do, a couple long weekends and the Antigo and Lakeland girls had to travel for practice all season. We had a very low absence rate, so I was proud of them.”
The team also bid farewell to five seniors including notable four-year contributors Turunen, Madi Losch and Lauren Kefalinos.
“That’s the toughest part,” Roeser said. “We were certainly lucky last year. We didn’t lose anyone, so you don’t have this heartbreak. We didn’t have it last year and now we do and we’re really going to miss the quality players and character we’re going to lose.”
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at [email protected]