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Fond farewell[/font] Abes run out of magic in state semis[/font] [link=http://www.leadertelegram.com/staff.asp?id=112]Mike Fowler[/link]
[/font]Leader-Telegram Staff[/font] [/font][/font]



[link=http://www.leadertelegram.com/photolarge.asp?id=80183][image]http://www.leadertelegram.com/photos%5Csmall%5Cas_AbeFondy1_HKY_030307.jpg[/image] [/link][/font]

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Memorial's Jefferson Dahl took a shot on goal past Fondy's Tyler Gross, #8, but goalie Randy Willis came up with the save in the third period. [/font][align=left]MADISON ? Coaches and players on championship teams often reflect on how much they learned from that one loss.

That one loss that taught them what to do when they ran into a hot goaltender.

That one loss that taught them how to play nearly an entire game from behind.

That one loss that taught them when not to panic.

Eau Claire Memorial never suffered that one loss during its historic 24-game winning streak, and the pressure the Old Abes put on themselves well before the final minutes of Friday night?s WIAA boys hockey semifinal was palpable amid the frenzy of the Alliant Energy Center.

Though the Abes only trailed by a single goal most of the game, the divide grew as the clock ticked. Passes became desperation drives as early as the second period. And Memorial, a team that scored so effortlessly during its run at perfection, came up one goal short in a 2-1 loss, the second unbeaten to fall victim to Fond du Lac in as many days.

?We threw everything at them late in the second and all through the third period, and their goaltender was outstanding ? by far and away the best player on the ice,? Memorial coach Mike Schwengler said.

Randy Willis allowed eight goals to University School of Milwaukee in last year?s state championship game, and he wasn?t about to let it

happen again. The senior dipped and dived at everything Memorial threw at him.

He made 16 of his 30 saves in the final period, stopping a seemingly endless barrage from the Abes? potent first line. And he did what no one else could in the weeks and months prior by shutting them out.

?He just got shelled against University School, and that?s hard to take as a goalie on this big stage,? Fond du Lac coach Ryan Sarazin said.

?This year he was able to decide to take this game on his shoulders, and he?s done that several times throughout the year.?

It was the same for Seth Soley, Jefferson Dahl and Isaiah Bennis. Every time any one of the Abes? first-liners touched the puck, they desperately tried to create opportunities even when the Cardinals defense allowed none.

?Coming into this game I knew Memorial had a great first line that could really shoot the puck and score, you know,? Willis said. ?We had to come in here and try to shut them down, and we did it.?

Memorial had a hard time keeping its scoring leaders out of the penalty box early and off the penalty kill throughout. Dahl and Soley both spent time in the box in the first period, with Soley?s charging penalty spilling 33 seconds in the second.

The Abes spent 14 minutes killing penalties, and though they never allowed a power-play goal, Cody Lettau gave the Cardinals a two-goal lead 8 minutes, 43 seconds into the second period a breath after the announcer proclaimed Memorial at full strength. Mike Miettunen was no more than two strides out of the penalty box before Lettau found the net from the crowded crease.

Miettunen scored Memorial?s only goal 10 minutes, 35 seconds into the second period when he took the puck from center ice to the right goal line, around a Cardinals defenseman and put it in net backhanded.

An early Fond du Lac penalty set up one of the Cardinals? four first-period chances. Defenseman Paul Biolo jumped out of the penalty box at 10:18 to find a pass on his stick, and no one was there to stop him from putting the Cardinals up 1-0 on a shot that bounced off the post and trickled down Brady Sand?s back.

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leftside_old
ECMisMyLife i haven't heard from you in a few days? where are you?
if you're not cheating you're not trying to win!
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ECMisMylife_old
24-0 at one point...
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leftside_old
hockey #14(charlie woller) do you know what astonishing means?
if you're not cheating you're not trying to win!
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ECMisMylife_old
haha the best part was i didn't pull a Lahner and dissapear, i was on here the whole time, even that night, i gave mad props to Fondy that night.
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wiscott90
ECM product Jake Dowell scored the game winning goal in the Badgers 3-2 win over Denver tonight. []
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ECMisMylife_old
Rooting for us all the way

hahahaha
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ECMisMylife_old
You make un-intellegent posts. The Dahl ACL thing, The perfect season over, the ECM has no baseball players to worry about besides nofad. Figure out what your talking about before you post, thats my problem
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