Stevens Point Area Senior High’s Jake Jaworski was in the right place at the right time Friday.
The senior forward scored on a rebound at the 4 minute, 21 mark of overtime after a shot by teammate Brock Caufield deflected off the post and came directly to Jaworski to the left of D.C. Everest goalie Michael Moe.
“I just saw a wide-open net and pumped it home,” Jaworski said
Jaworski’s power-play goal was the second of the game for SPASH and gave the Panthers a 3-2 win over the Evergreens in a Wisconsin Valley Conference matchup at Greenheck Field House. The game was delayed 20 minutes with 19 seconds left in the third period to replace a broken plexiglass panel.
The Panthers came into the matchup with the top power-play unit in the conference and went 2 for 4 against Everest, including Caufield’s second goal of the game at the 8:21 mark of the third period, which tied the score.
“We spend a lot of time in practice working on (the power play), and we’re confident that our guys really know what’s going on out there,” Jaworski said. “We’ve been doing pretty good.”
Everest’s fortunes were the opposite. The Evergreens went 0 for 3 with a man advantage, and had a power play opportunity halted in overtime by being penalized for having too many men on the ice. Jaworski scored 22 seconds into the subsequent SPASH power play.
“It was a shift change on our power-play unit, and one guy went out for the wrong guy, and (the officials) caught us,” Everest coach Dan VanSlyke said. “Those are the things successful teams don’t do.”
Everest defenseman Nate Bruns had a chance at a possible game-winner in the closing moments of regulation, as he fired a rolling puck from the point that sailed wide of the net and ended up cracking the plexiglass behind and to the right of SPASH goalie Nathan Siclovan to cause the delay.
“He felt he had (the goal) too. He said the corner was open,” VanSlyke said. “He said the puck just knuckled on him.”
The Evergreens used a portion of the delay to devise strategy to win the draw in the SPASH zone and mount one final attack when play resumed. However, SPASH won the draw and the teams went into overtime.
There, it was the Panthers who took advantage of an opportunity.
“It wasn’t the greatest of games by our team, but when you get a win in conference, it gives you a momentum boost and hopefully will kickstart us for the stretch here,” SPASH coach Dan Francis said. “Our power play has been moving the puck well and getting pucks to the net, and anytime when you can capitalized on the power play it’s a good thing. It was nice to get a couple (power-play) goals because I don’t think we played our best 5-on-5 tonight.”
Second period: 1. DCE, Chris Babiarz (Michael Plaza, Alex Degner), 2:32. 2. SP, Brock Caufield (Kobe Keller), 2:54. 3. DCE, Bryce Dively (Chris Sackmann), 13:31.
Third period: 4. SP, Caufield (Jake Jaworski, Mason Czaikowski), 8:21.
OT: 5. SP, Jaworski (Caufield).
Saves: SP Nathan Siclovan 10-4-4-2-20; D.C. Everest Michael Moe 10-9-7-1-27.
Records: SPASH 9-9-1, 5-1-1-Wisconsin Valley Conference; D.C. Everest 9-8, 4-4 WVC