A huge step in Verona becoming the top-ranked team in Division 1 in the Wisconsin Prep Hockey Coaches Poll was the Wildcats’ wins over Wausau West and Notre Dame de la Baie at the Showdown in Titletown.
The host Warriors snapped Verona’s 12-game winning streak Friday, Jan. 17, at the Wausau West Invitational, and the Tritons edged the Wildcats a day later at Marathon Park Ice Arena in Wausau.
Verona (14-3, 9-0 Big Eight Conference) will look to bounce back and stay unbeaten in conference play when it hosts Middleton on Friday, Jan. 24.
Notre Dame de la Baie 3, Verona 2
The Wildcats never led against the Tritons, who came into the game ranked second in Division 1.
Notre Dame’s Isaac Rentmeester opened the scoring with 7:18 left in the first period off a pass from Josh DeLange. Nathan Jurrens tied it up 3:18 into the second period off assists from Walker Haessig and Leo Renlund.
Brendan Poshak netted a power-play goal with 1:06 left in the second off a pass from Sawyer Scholl. The Tritons finished 2-for-4 on the power play, while the Wildcats were just 1-for-7.
Scholl added an insurance goal 32 seconds into the third period off a pass from Brenden Gruber.
Haessig scored on the power play with 4:45 left off assists from Jurrens and Cale Rufenacht, but Verona could not tie it to force overtime.
The Tritons outshot the Wildcats 36-32. Kaden Grant made 33 saves for Verona.
Wausau West 3, Verona 0
The third-ranked tournament hosts scored twice in the first period and again in the second, while Adam Prokop made 30 saves in a shutout of the Wildcats.
Verona outshot the Warriors 30-25, but finished 0-for-4 on the power play. Grant made 22 saves.
Jacob Cebula scored on the power play with 3:52 left in the first off assists from Ty Bailey and Carson Marquardt. West finished 1-for-5 with a man advantage.
Marc Sippel assisted Bailey’s goal with 1:32 left in the first, then scored off assists from Bailey and Thomas Gerum with 4:21 left in the second.