By Craig Marx, Editor
A ‘fortuitous bounce’ is an often overused sports writer and broadcaster’s term. In the sense of Antigo hockey’s 2-1 overtime victory over the Northland Pines Eagles on Tuesday evening, I think we can make an exception for that very term’s overuse.
With Robins trailing 1-0 in third period and the Eagles on the power play, defenseman Matt Winter proceeded to routinely dump the puck into the Pines zone while shorthanded. The puck circled around the glass and ricocheted off of a partition. As Pines goaltender Ethan Polich had his back turned, the puck somehow bounced back into the net behind him.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Coach Matt Borneman said. “It was just puck luck, I guess.”
Borneman mentioned that his assistant coaches, Eric Schroeder and Brett Zelazoski, had witnessed a similar fluke goal during their 2005 state-bound season for the Robins.
“It was exactly what we needed, though,” Borneman said in reference to the 2016 version of puck luck. “We didn’t play well in the first and second periods but did well in the third and overtime. Pines’ goalie played an amazing third period as we outshot them 17-2.”
Antigo entered the overtime period and scored quickly. With Tyler Husnick winning a faceoff, CJ Levis took a feed into the slot from Adam Schmidt where the sophomore forward scored the game winner. It took Antigo all of 1:33 to overcome the Eagles in extra time.
Bartletti made 15 saves for the Robins as Antigo outshot their Great Northern Conference rival 35-16 on the night. Bartletti is now third in the state in terms of goals allowed average at 1.25 and fifth in save percentage with .936.
The Robins will have the Christmas week off to recoup and let the bizarre yet hard-earned win against the Eagles sink in. Antigo hockey returns to action in its home holiday tournament beginning on Dec. 29 at 4 PM from the Langlade County Multi-Purpose Building.