March 4, 2009 @ Coliseum 8:00

White Bear Lake0220-4

First Period
HM, Willie Faust (Tyler Zepeda, Ben Bahe), 10:00.

Second Period
WBL, Mike Slator (Sam Swanson), 1:02.
HM, Tyler Zepeda (Jack Walsh, Jeff Westerhaus), 2:10.
WBL, Chad Lowell (Zach Loesch, Garen David), 12:25.
HM, Jeff Westerhaus (Jack Walsh, Ryan Holler), 14:39.
HM, Tyler Zepeda (Chris Casto), 15:39 (pp).

Third Period
WBL, Ryan Wolter (Brandon Wahlin), 6:34.
WBL, Max Birkinbine (Ryan Wolter, Zach Hoffman), 7:39 (pp).

HM, Ben Bahe (Tyler Zepeda), 5:34.

Shots by period
White Bear Lake51092-26

HM - Tim Shaughnessy57422W
WBL - Owen Collette57514L

Power Plays Goals Attempts Time
White Bear Lake122:25

Game Recap

Another dagger into the Bears' heart, this one off the stick of Ben Bahe, sent Hill-Murray past White Bear Lake in overtime, but this year the Pioneers still have one more game to win. Bahe came down the right side on a 2-on-1 and wristed a shot that eluded Owen Collette's blocker, and that was sudden death for White Bear Lake, which had previously come back from deficits of 1-0, 2-1, and 4-2. The goal was set up by who else but Tyler Zepeda, the senior captain who led the offense all night and whose four year career will extend at least one more game.

For the game, Hill-Murray scored 5 times on 19 shots, electing to play defensively and wait for opportunities off mistakes, of which White Bear provided plenty. The Pioneers had just three shots in the first period and two were on the same play. Zepeda picked off an errant clearing pass and blasted a shot from the high slot that Collette did a good job of stopping but was left at the mercy of Willie Faust who snapped in the rebound. The Bears managed five shots in the period, but sent several pucks through the crease and would have had a wide open net if only a player could have put his stick on the puck.

White Bear got on the scoreboard at 1:02 of the second as Mike Slator tipped Sam Swanson's centering pass over Tim Shaughnessy. But Hill-Murray got that right back when Jack Walsh blocked a pass in the neutral zone and Zepeda was off to the races for a breakaway goal at 2:10.

Both teams missed the net on their next best scoring chances as Zepeda narrowly missed wide on another breakaway and the Bears did the same on a 3-on-2.

The red light would be lit three times in the last five minutes of the second. Hill-Murray failed to clear the zone and a long shot found its way onto the stick of Chad Lowell, who was all alone off the right post and had an easy shot for a 2-2 tie. Once again, the Pioneers came right back as Ryan Holler created a turnover and Walsh slid a nice pass across the slot to Jeff Westerhaus who buried it for a 3-2 lead. One minute later, Zepeda came down the center on a 3-on-2, faked a pass to Bahe on the right side, and fired a wrist shot into the upper corner from 25 feet.

Hill-Murray may have taken its defensive game plan too seriously in the third period and gave up two goals 1:05 apart. Brandon Wahlin walked out from behind the net and scored just inside the far post, and then Max Birkinbine fired in the tying goal from the right circle with plenty of time remaining.

Hill-Murray got one last power play and Zepeda nearly set up Faust for a tip-in goal, but the shot went wide. Then the Pioneers got a lucky break when the Bears shot the puck in with 2 seconds remaining, but the net was off its spot and the would-be goal was immediately disallowed.

The Pioneers proved to be the more disciplined team in overtime as White Bear kept getting caught out of position leading to odd-man rushes. Zepeda nearly ended the game himself when he uncorked a slapshot that struck the crossbar and ended up near the top of Section 18. But he was happy to settle with the game winning assist minutes later when Bahe's heroics ended the affair.

Hill-Murray (17-9-1) faces Stillwater (13-11-3) for the Section 4 championship on Friday. White Bear Lake's season ends at 14-11-2.

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