MIDDLETON — When the Sun Prairie boys hockey team looks back on Tuesday’s Big Eight battle with Middleton they’ll refer to it as one that got away.
Three third-period power-play goals allowed Middleton to erase Sun Prairie’s two-goal lead, earning a 4-3 victory at Bob Suter Capitol Ice Arena.
Sun Prairie (3-1-0 overall, 3-1-0 Big Eight) led 3-1 after Carter Watters’ second goal of the night on a power play with 3 minutes, 22 seconds left in the second period, and the visiting Cardinals took that lead into the third period.
Middleton (4-2-0, 3-0-0) answered with power-play goals at the 16:50 mark by Thomas Moreau and Blake Kalscheur with 10:35 remaining, tying the game at 2-2.
The host Cardinals then took the lead for good on Noah Ehrhardt’s goal with 5:11 left.
Sun Prairie drew first blood in the opening period on senior forward Kaden Brunson’s even-strength goal 6:34 into the contest. Watters assists.
Watters made it a 2-0 lead with an unassisted goal on a power play with only 3:21 remaining in the opening period.
Middleton got one goal back when Moreau found the net at the 6:56 mark of the second period, but Watters would push the Sun Prairie lead back to two goals scoring on a power play at 13:38 into the period. Nick Johnson was credited with the assist.
Alex Liegel finished the night with 34 saves, matching Middleton goalie Noah Hogan.
The Cardinals face reigning Big Eight champion and co-leading Verona on Friday, Dec. 20. The puck drops at 7 p.m. at Verona Ice Arena.
MIDDLETON 4, SUN PRAIRIE 3
Sun Prairie 2 1 0 — 3
Middleton 0 1 3 — 4
First period: SP — Brunson (Watters), 6:34; Watters (un), 3:21 (pp).
Second period: M — Moreau (Bro. Kalschuer), 6:56; SP — Watters (Johnson), 3:22 (pp).
Third period: M — Moreau (Kalschuer),16:50 (pp); Bla. Kalscheur (Ehrhardt, Bro. Kalscheur), 10:35; Ehrhardt (Bla. Kalscheur, Bro. Kalscheur), 5:11.
Saves: SP (Liegel) 34; M (Hogan) 34.