When it comes to making big plays and scoring key goals, Grant Newcomer always seems to come through for the McFarland High School boys hockey team.
The senior notched a goal 4:36 into overtime as the Spartans skated away with a 4-3 win over Badger South Conference rival Milton on Feb. 7 at Stoughton’s Mandt Arena.
It was McFarland’s second win of the season over Milton after a 7-2 home victory Jan. 7.
As for Newcomer, he has 30 goals this season along with 26 assists for a total 56 points. He needed two more in McFarland’s final two games to break his career high 58 points last season.
Thor Rosten gave the Spartans a 3-2 lead at 4:49 of the third period off Newcomer’s assist. But the Spartans penalty kill couldn’t maintain the lead as the Red Hawks’ Mitchell Masters tallied on the power play at 10:02 to tie the game. The game remained tied through the end of regulation and went into the eight-minute overtime.
McFarland began the game strong with 24 shots on goal in the first period against Milton’s net-minder Luke Grote. But the Red Hawks scored first 2:23 into the game as Tyler Ellis nailed an even strength goal off Masters’ assist.
McFarland tied the game at the 10:24 mark with sophomore Simeon Pommerening beating Grote off a Newcomer assist.
Ellis gave Milton a 2-1 lead at 5:49 of the second period as teammate Gannon Kligora set him on a shot that went past Spartans goalie Gus Hoel. Five minutes later, Newcomer came through with an even-strength goal to tie the game 2-2 after two periods.
The Spartans were lucky to yield just one second-period goal as it was whistled for 33 total penalty minutes including two 10-minute misconduct infractions and a five-minute major for checking from behind.
Hoel saved 27-of-30 shots to secure the McFarland win. Grote stopped 45 of the 49 shots he faced.
The win improved the Spartans overall record to 16-4-2 and 8-3 in the Badger South. Milton has won only once in 10 league games.
McFarland plays its regular season finale Thursday, Feb. 13, at Oshkosh with faceoff scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
After that, the Spartans will open WIAA Division 2 postseason action Thursday, Feb. 20, against visiting Oregon. McFarland has the No. 4 in its sectional bracket and Oregon is rated No. 5. The winner would play No. 1 Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs or No. 8 Monona Grove.
Spartans 2, Sauk Prairie 2
Pommerening scored a goal at 11:18 of the third period and helped the McFarland High School boys hockey team end in a 2-2 deadlock against the visiting non-conference Sauk Prairie Eagles on Feb. 4.
Pommerening slipped a shot past goalie Jordan Connor off assists from Newcomer and freshman Cal DeChambeau to erase a 2-1 Eagles lead.
Newcomer put McFarland on the board at 5:04 of the first period off Pommerening’s assist, but Sauk Prairie’s Camden Desroches tied the game on the power play at the 11:28 mark.
Desroches gave his team the lead at 7:50 of the second period to give Sauk Prairie a one-goal advantage.
Sauk Prairie outshot McFarland 41-24 with Spartan goaltender Hoel making 39 saves.