We've entered the meat of the tourney, ladies and gentlemen. 16 great teams left on the board and some compelling matchups that will not only deliver some awesome hockey action, but forever change the leaderboard as we know it now.
Introducing your 2008-2009 Ashwaubenon Jaguars.
Fon du Lac vs. Ashwaubenon
You all know the Ashwaubenon story by now. But do you know the rest of the story? Take a look at this forum posting from Wisconsin Prep Hockey:
The Eland kid [Ashwaubenon's goalie] is a special player and a genuine story. He never made a Bantam "A" team in Green Bay and was known for occasionally taking penalties while on "B" and "C" teams because he went after guys who scored on him in Peewee and Bantam hockey. Ashwaubenon has got more than a few "late bloomers" on its team, which is further proof that a just because one player makes the Squirt, Peewee or Bantam "A" teams doesn't mean he/she is going to be a high-end player for life. The kids who don't make the "A" teams in kid hockey will surpass "A" players in high school if they bring passion at whatever level they happen to be playing. To my knowledge, Eric DeRosier first made an "A" team at the Bantam level. Back then he was small in size but he gave big effort, and he gave that effort all the time. I'm not sure if John Danforth was ever an "A" player while coming through the Green Bay Youth Hockey Association, but he's a hard-working role player on a team that's one game away from going to the state tournament.Let me get this straight. A scrappy B-level goalie who occasionally assaulted players who had the audacity to score on him? Ivo Knezevic, are you listening? I think we have found your love child! It would be a lie to say this reporter is not rooting for Ashwaubenon to make it all the way to The Big Ice. With the possible exceptions of former champ Tracy DeLuca, Brady Udall, and Andrew Davis, I think the rest of the pool joins me in that sentiment.
It's not a stretch, folks. Ashwaubenon has won 21 games in a row, outscoring their opponents 104-38 in the process. Ashwaubenon and Fondy have virtually identical records against common opponents, with perhaps even a slight edge going to the underdog Jaguars given that they beat Appleton United when the best Fondy could do was a tie.
I'm going to be stationed at a homeless women's shelter tonight (it's part of a community service agreement with the San Rafael Police Department that I don't wish to get into now), but you can bet those poor women, asleep or not, are going to get an earful of hockey news if I can somehow find an Internet connection. Stand by.
Ashwaubenon 2, Fon du Lac 1 (4 OTs)