FOND DU LAC — For some teams, entering the third period down by a goal after coughing up a lead could be a difficult place to be in.
Not for the Fond du Lac/Beaver Dam co-op prep girls hockey squad. The team saw that situation play out during Saturday’s non-conference game against the Lakeshore co-op, but a three-goal third period gave FdL/BD a 6-4 win in a battle of 11-school cooperative programs at the Fond du Lac Blueline Family Ice Center.
“Second period, we made a lot of mistakes defensively,” FdL/BD co-head coach Paul Uttech said. “I think we got to an early lead and we went away from our game a little bit in the second period. It’s easy to take somebody for granted or take somebody lightly when you get up to an early lead.
“That was a good team. They skated hard, they came at us, but we just made too many defensive mistakes in the second period and paid for them.”
Fifth-ranked FdL/BD shot out to a 3-1 lead after one period, but ended up on the penalty kill three times in the second period, allowing the Cedarburg-based Lighting to strike twice and quickly after another.
Just 1:07 into the Alyssa Heim’s hooking penalty, Lakeshore’s Elle Fisher found the back of the net 4 minutes into the second period to make it 3-2.
With 11:37 left in the second, Mary Skorupa got a 2-minute holding penalty, but the Lightning didn’t score on the power play until after when Anna Gontarski took a shot and a couple more whacks to find the back of the net to tie it at 3 with 9:15 left.
“We just lost track of coverage on the penalty kill,” Uttech said. “They moved the puck well, they got traffic in front, we didn’t clear out and they made us pay for it.”
The Lightning gave themselves the lead on a power play when Gontarski scored her third unassisted goal at 9:26 into the second.
“The bottom line is you’ve got to stay out of the box,” Uttech said. “You’ve got to stay off the penalty kill. You’ve giving the other team a man advantage that you don’t need to give them.
“I think they’ve (Lakeshore) have been working on their power play. It was pretty good.”
During the second intermission, Uttech said he and co-head coach Duane Woeshnick told their team “to get back to what we were doing in the first period: Play smart hockey, stay out of the box, move the puck, put the puck on net and play good defense.”
Meanwhile, Heim said her team felt like it needed to relax while in the locker room.
“Everybody was trying to be positive, which I think in the second period we got down on ourselves because we didn’t expect to get down in the this game,” Heim said. “We took them a little bit too lightly.
“They battled really hard and we got in the locker room and trying to be positive, and be like, ‘Listen, we’re not out of this. We’re one goal down. We’re the better team. All we have to do is get a few in the net.’”
Staying calm and relaxed worked for FdL/BD, especially for Heim, who looked to be on a mission.
Just 22 seconds into the period, she and Maike Zipp launched a 2-on-1 breakaway and Heim poked it in the back of the net to tie the game at 4.
“The breakout was perfect,” Heim said. “(Our) defense passed it to Hattie (Verstegen) and Hattie got it to Maike and then me and Maike confused the defense a little bit. It was a really great pass. It was nice to get a little lucky when it went off the post because we hit the post a lot. We weren’t getting any lucky bounces there.”
Heim was at it again with 3½ minutes left in the game. After Zipp found Dayna Jones at the blue line, Heim got in front of the Lightning goalie when Jones shot it. Heim reached out and redirected the shot past Kami McCardle to give FdL/BD a 5-4 lead. Heim registered her own hat trick when she scored an empty-netter with eight-tenths of a second left.
“I’m just thinking I’ve got to get in a good position to screen this goalie because this one I actually could screen,” Heim said. “Usually it just doesn’t happen. I just got to get in front of the net to cause the goalie to get a little bit confused and if I get a tip then I get a tip, but as long as the D gets a good shot in there, you always have the potential to get the tip.”
Heim also assisted Verstegein for FdL/BD’s first goal of the game at 2:06 into the first to finish her day with three goals and an assist, while Verstegen had a goal and two assists on the night. Heim leads the team in goals with 18, while Verstegen has 16.
“But you want your leaders to step up,” Uttech said. “You want them to feel like they’re on a mission. (Heim is) that kind of player. Is it all on her shoulders? No, but she’s a leader and somebody you look to to make a difference. She’s going out there, working as hard as she can is motivating other players.”
“It is a situation where the puck starts to bounce your way, it’s hard work that’s probably going to make that happen. She doesn’t have to do it herself because we’ve got a lot of talented kids on here, but she stepped up and made some things happen (in the third) to turn it around.”
BEAVER DAM/FOND DU LAC 6, LAKESHORE 4
Lakeshore 1 3 0 — 4
Fond du Lac/Beaver Dam 3 0 3 — 6
First period: FdLBD — Hattie Verstegen (Alyssa Heim), 2:06; Morgan Brown (Mary Skorupa), 3:51. L — Anna Gontarski, 4:06. FdLBD — Deanovich (Hattie Verstegen), 8:11.
Second period: L — Elle Fisher (Alexandra Buchanan), 4:00 (pp); Anna Gontarski, 7:45; Anna Gontarski, 9:26 (pp).
Third period: FdLBD — Alyssa Heim (Maike Zipp, Hattie Verstegen), :22; Alyssa Heim (Dayna Jones, #13 Maike Zipp), 13:28 (pp); Alyssa Heim (Hattie Verstegen, Maike Zipp), 16:29.
Penalties: L — 2-4, FdLBD 5-10. Saves: L (Kami McCardle) 39, FdLBD (Abby Okon) 30.