Tuesday’s Badger North Conference game between Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells and Beaver Dam proved to be one for the ages.
And Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells seemed to want it more, as the visiting team rallied from a three-goal deficit to earn a 7-6 overtime victory.
Reedsburg forward Dylan Brown scored off an incredible assist by teammate Derek Pawlak with 2 minutes, 22 seconds left in the extra session to win it for the Cheavers.
“We just weren’t playing our hockey the first two periods,” Brown said. “We just tried to bring it together after the second and if we could play with the level that we knew we could, we would be able to come back.”
Something changed for Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells in the third period and overtime.
“We were just playing harder,” Brown said. “We weren’t back-checking in the first two periods. We just weren’t playing our hockey.
“Our coach gave us a good talk in between the second and the third, and we just capitalized.”
Meanwhile, the Golden Beavers lost their third game where they had at least a two-goal lead, following a 3-2 loss to Waupun on Nov. 28 and a 7-4 defeat to Oregon two days later.
“I don’t know what the magic solution is,” Beaver Dam head coach Chris Huebel said. “If you know what it is, let me know.”
Huebel said his team isn’t doing the little things right at the end of the game to lock down wins.
“The difference at the varsity level is teams aren’t going to back down,” he said. “Teams aren’t going to cash it in and they’re going to come after you and we have to do a lot of the little things right.”
Derek Pawlak’s goal launched the Cheavers’ third-period rally, and Jacob Ely and Ben Jones each lit the lamp within a 20-second span with under 10 minutes to go to tie things up at 6-all. Ely’s goal came on a power play.
“It’s taking care of the little things that we needed to take care of,” Huebel said. “Like staying out of the box, making smart decisions with the puck. We just didn’t do it and we gave them too much zone time, and they capitalized.”
Ely gave Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells a 1-0 lead in the first period, but the Golden Beavers answered when Jay Kirschbaum found the back of the net.
Sam Vanderhoeven’s natural hat trick in the second period staked Beaver Dam to a 4-1 lead, as he scored at 1:23, 2:12 and 3:52. Reedsburg scored twice to cut the Beaver Dam lead to 4-3 before Vanderhoeven found Daniel Smolen on a nice cross pass to give the Beavers a 5-3 lead at 13:07 into the second.
“We did a lot of good things in the first two and we did a lot of good things right and gave us a good lead,” Huebel said. “Then we weren’t able to handle it and hang on.”
Once the third period started, Beaver Dam lost all its momentum and Reedsburg used that to its advantage.
“For some reason, we just need to find what we’re missing in the third here,” Huebel said.
REEDSBURG 7, BEAVER DAM 6 (OT)
Reedsburg 1 2 3 1 — 7
Beaver Dam 1 5 0 0 — 6
First period: R — Jacob Ely (Thomas Pfaff, Dylan Brown), 5:36. BD -
Second period: BD — Sam Vanderhoeven (Sam Strasser), 1:23; Sam Vanderhoeven (Blaiz Firari), 2:12; Sam Vanderhoeven (Jay Kirschbaum), 3:52. R — Tarren Gruber (Thomas Pfaff), 4:11; Kip Cunningham (Reid Marsich), 10:11. BD — Daniel Smolen (Sam Vanderhoeven), 13:07; Sam Vanderhoeven (Jay Kirschbaum, Sam Strasser), 15:50.
Third period: R — Derek Pawlak, 1:07; Jacob Ely (Dylan Brown), 9:38 (pp); Ben Jones (Reid Marsich), 9:58.
Overtime: R — Dylan Brown (Derek Pawlak, Jacob Ely), 5:38.
Penalties: R 3-6, BD 5-10. Saves: R (Nicolas Breunig) 27, BD (Marshall Goodrich) 38.