The Brookfield Stars overcame a 2-0 deficit and beat Eau Claire Memorial, 3-2, in overtime on senior PJ Corbett's 18th goal of the season in the first game of the WIAA Boys Hockey State Tournament.
The Stars (20-8-0) now advance to play the winner of the Wausau West/Marquette game Friday night at 6 p.m. It is the first state win for the Stars as they were one and done in their only other state appearance in 1997.
With the score tied at 2-2, Matt Fosdick started the Stars to the winning goal with a pass to Patrick O'Brien. O'Brien raced down the left side of the center lane with Corbett ot his right and flipped Corbett the puck at the last minute and Corbett hit in the shot for the winning score, his 18th goal of the year.
At that point the Stars went nuts and celebrated all over the ice.
The fact that the game went into overtime was amazing in itself, as the Old Abes (22-5-2) jumped off to a 2-0 lead and totally dominated the first period with a 12-2 shots on goal advantage.
Jake Sparger scored the first goal at 8:34 of first period with a straight on shot that goalie JJ Murnane had no help on.
Then with 3:26 left in the second period, Jacob Bresser scored - getting his own rebound - after assists from Charley Graaskam and Brady Burzynski for a 2-0 lead and things were looking bleak for the Stars, who had trouble staying on the Old Abes' side of the ice.
But suddenly, for the second time in two games, an opponent's goal woke up the Stars.
First Drew Owen had a breakaway shot stopped by Nate Pientok. But then Carter Jenkins flipped the puck to Tommy Porkka, who got the puck back to Owen and he drilled in a shot past Dan Hanna to put the Stars back in the game at 2-1 with 9:45 on the clock in the second period.
Then Matt Fosdick shot across the front of the goal to O'Brien on the left side and O'Brien ripped in a goal off Hanna's skate to tie the game at 2-2 with 14:43 in the second period. It was O'Brien's 16th goal of the year.
The third period was scoreless, but the Stars took control in the overtime and sent the 1000 Brookfield fans home happy. Eleven busses of students drove to Madison and 300 other students paid on their own.
ECM outshot Brookfield, 30-20. but Murnane continued to be the man for the Stars as he has done down the stretch. He finished with an amazing 28 saves. Hanna had 17 saves for the Old Abes.
The refs let both teams play and there were only three penalties called.
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