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Watch Now: Prep Girls Hockey State Championship: Schemenauer's overtime game-winning goal lifts Chippewa Falls/Menomonie past University School of Milwaukee for state championship
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Prep Girls Hockey State Championship | Chippewa Falls/Menomonie 3, University School of Milwaukee 2 (OT)

Watch Now: Prep Girls Hockey State Championship: Schemenauer's overtime game-winning goal lifts Chippewa Falls/Menomonie past University School of Milwaukee for state championship

From the STATE CHAMPS: Full coverage of Chippewa Falls/Menomonie girls hockey team's big win series

Video highlights from the Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021 prep girls hockey state championship game between Chippewa Falls/Menomonie and the University School of Milwaukee in Wisconsin Rapids.

WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Joey Schemenauer was in the biggest moment of her high school athletic career and had just one thought — don’t miss.

She didn’t.

The sophomore took a feed from Brianna Buonincontro and beat goaltender Molly Jex 3 minutes, 20 seconds into overtime to secure the Chippewa Falls/Menomonie girls hockey team a state championship with a 3-2 victory over the University School of Milwaukee on Saturday afternoon.

The sophomore-to-sophomore connection on the winning goal was the only time the Sabers led in the game.

Schemenauer picked up a tripping penalty in the third when the game was tied, and the Wildcats took advantage as Jordan Bonk scored on the power play to give the University School of Milwaukee a 2-1 lead at the 6:52 mark. The sophomore got the chance to make amends, and she did with her second goal of the playoffs and seventh of the season.

“All I thought was don’t miss because that would not be good,” Schemenauer said. “I just have got to thank Brianna for the perfect pass she gave me. It was amazing to be able to put that puck in the net for our community and our team and our coaches who worked so hard for this.”

Chippewa Falls/Menomonie (14-6-1) tied the game at two less than three minutes later when Ms. Hockey Wisconsin Sidney Polzin delivered a power-play snipe past Jex to even the game, one that had just one goal in the first two periods.

“I think we all just came here with a little nerves, but they sat down once we got going,” Polzin said. “I think the big difference was being positive in the locker room and knowing that we are capable of coming back from a deficit.”

Ella Ausman opened the scoring for the Sabers 40 seconds into the third when her goal stuck past Jex before a collision knocked the net out of place. A review of several minutes came to look over the goal, which was allowed.

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“It was a battle this afternoon,” Chippewa Falls/Menomonie coach Tony Menard said. “We had to compete for the whole game. Luckily we were in this situation on Wednesday and to go out there and have a sophomore group get that goal, it feels really good. They wanted this for their seniors. We had a couple seniors step up with a goal and put the puck in the net tonight and to see Brianna and Joey go out there and finish it. It was so surreal.”

The Sabers controlled the majority of the first period before a turnover in their own zone late gave the Wildcats a scoring opportunity Emily Mueller would take advantage of, knocking the puck past goaltender Caroline O’Dell with 10 seconds left to put the University School of Milwaukee ahead 1-0. Mueller’s shot was the first one on goal in the game for the Wildcats (18-4).

“We got in the locker room, and coach just said we’ve came back before,” Schemenauer said.

Chippewa Falls/Menomonie had an early power-play opportunity in the first, but that turned into 4-on-4 a little more than a minute later on a penalty from the Sabers. The Wildcats had another chance with the man advantage later in the first, but the Sabers killed that opportunity off without incident.

It was the second overtime win in four days for the Sabers, who advanced to the championship game when Emma-Lyn Stephenson scored a power-play goal in a 4-3 win at Central Wisconsin on Wednesday.

Chippewa Falls/Menomonie outshot the Wildcats by a 28-15 margin, including a 17-6 spread in the first two periods, but Jex was up to the task between the pipes coming off a shutout of Eau Claire Area in Wednesday’s other semifinal.

“We were getting shots and it just didn’t seem that the puck was going to go in and then it just started to come in the third period,” Menard said.

Caroline O’Dell made 15 saves in net for the Sabers while Jex stopped 25 of 28 shots for the Wildcats.

Five years ago, the Sabers lost by 10 goals in their lone playoff game. The co-op of teams from Chippewa Falls, Menomonie and McDonell has been methodically working its way up the ladder in recent years before the breakout 2020-21 campaign. Chippewa Falls and Menomonie first teamed up for the 2010-11 season with McDonell joining in later years.

And now the Sabers are state champions.

“This group of girls is amazing,” Polzin said. “To finally do it, to hang our banner at home is amazing.”


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