DE PERE – The Bay Port boys hockey team will be making its first trip to the WIAA State Tournament after defeating Neenah/Hortonville/Menasha 3-2 in the sectional finals Saturday.
The game marked the second time the two teams met, with Bay Port winning 3-2 on Jan. 14. The Neenah co-op was the No. 1 seed.
The Pirates took an early 2-0 lead, with goals just 46 seconds apart, as Max Moore and Aaron Ribar each scored their first postseason goals, while Bennett DeBouche added an assist on Ribar’s goal.
Jack Krause scored early in the second period for Neenah in a 4-on-4 situation. But DeBouche negated that, scoring short-handed on a breakaway for Bay Port.
Neenah’s Alec Elkin scored with about one minute left in the second period, cutting the Ice Rockets’ deficit to 3-2.
The Pirates held the Rockets scoreless in the third period to secure the sectional title. Riley Baye made 31 saves in the goal to get the win in front of the net.
Bay Port will be just the second program in the area to play in the WIAA State Tournament. Notre Dame qualified five-straight seasons, from 2010-14, winning the tournament in 2012.