5 Bears Honored by North Shore Conference
As Coach Hebda and Coach Bayer built on their first season with the Ice Bears by capping off an 18-8 record for year two. In their second season, 5 of their players were recognized for their contributions to the Bears by the North Shore Conference.
Junior Defenseman Ethan Coughlin (West Bend West) receives First Team All-Conference honors. Coughlin, in his first season with the Bears, led all NSC defensemen in scoring with 23 points (10G, 13A) in 25 games. He registered 4 points versus Beloit and tallied 3 points in each game against WNS. Coughlin led the Bears with 4 powerplay goals and tied for the team lead with 3 game winners.
Junior Goal Tender Chris Clement (Slinger) and Senior Forward Eli Kopish (West Bend East) earn Second Team All-Conference honors. Clement had the second best save percentage in the NSC at .886. He registered 3 shutouts in 2017-18 and had a goals against average of 2.53. Chris also registered an assist this season. This is Clement’s second consecutive season being recognized as one of the top goalies in the NSC.
Kopish capped off his Ice Bears career tallying 32 points (13G, 19A) in 26 games. Eli registered multiple points in 10 games with a high point total of 5 coming against the Northwest Icemen. This is Kopish’s second consecutive year being recognized as one of the top players in the NSC.
Freshman Andrew Butler (Germantown) and Junior Nate Kandel (West Bend West) earn Honorable Mention accolades. Butler was the Ice Bears leading scorer for the 2017-18 campaign tallying 37 points (20G, 17A) in 26 contests. He registered 12 multi-point games highlighted by a 4 point game against Greendale and 3 points against the Northwest Icemen and Ashwaubenon. Andrew also led the Bears with 6 powerplay assists.
Kandel, the 2017-18 captain of the Ice Bears, was the textbook definition of a defensemen. While registering 14 points for the season (3G, 11A), was a steady force on the blueline that often saw him matched up with opposing team’s top lines or leading off a penalty kill situation. Nate registered one multi-point game this season against DeForest.
These 5 players were not the only Ice Bears that were recognized for their efforts during the 2017-18 season. Assistant Coach Brandon Bayer was named Section 8 Assistant Coach of the Year by the Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association.
Congratulations to all of these Ice Bears as well as the rest of the Bears that were part of the 2017-18 season. Each and every player made a contribution to make this season a very memorable one and the entire program is looking forward to the 2018-19 campaign.
Photo courtesy of: Dave Coughlin
Hockey seasons can be long. Teams need to avoid getting too high and getting too low. The Bears are no different and after a mid-season 8 game winning streak, the boys went into Friday night’s game against WNS on a 3 game losing streak. The Bears needed to right the ship and their special teams answered the call to carry the Bears to a 5-1 victory in their final Northshore Conference contest of the season.
The special teams were called on just a minute and half into the game when Casey Fisher (Germantown) was called for interference. The penalty kill team did not disappoint and was able to kill off WNS’ man advantage with minimal opportunities for the Storm. After a Bears powerplay, the penalty kill unit was again called on to kill another Storm man advantage when Gavin Pickett (West Bend West) was sent off for charging. The penalty kill team was again up to the challenge yielding nothing for WNS. At the end of the first, the teams were deadlocked at zero.
The second period brought the powerplay for the Bears to the ice 4 minutes in and again the special teams stole the spotlight. 30 seconds into the Bears man advantage, defenseman Nate Kandel found the back of the net with helpers from Andy Butler (Germantown) and Ethan Coughlin (West Bend West). Just over a minute later, it was again time for the penalty kill to be called on to protect the one goal lead. Peyton Kesselhon (West Bend East) had another idea and turned the Bears penalty kill into an offensive opportunity and beat the WNS tender to extend the Bears lead to two with just under 10 minutes play in the second.
After both teams skated back and forth, WNS finally beat goalie Chris Clement (Slinger) for their 1st tally of the game moving the score to 2-1. The remainder of the period saw the Bears called for 3 infractions again forcing the special teams to play shorthanded. At the end of two, the Bears hung on to their 1 goal lead.
The Bears came out and controlled the 3rd period after killing off another infraction, but had nothing to show. At the 6 minute mark of the 3rd, Casey Fisher buried a rebound in the slot to extend the Bears lead to 3-1. Ian Devenport (West Bend East) and Cam Sullivan (Port Washington) were credited with assists on the Fisher goal and the Bears were determined to slam the door shut on the Storm. Again the Bears played puck control and kept WNS on their heels. Ethan Coughlin took the puck at the point and found a wide open Peyton Kesselhon near the net for the Bears 4th goal of the contest.
The special teams was called on to close out this contest once and for all. The Bears 10th powerplay of the game yielded their 5th goal when Ethan Coughlin pounced on a loose puck and slammed it past the Storm goalie. Will Oppermann (West Bend East) and Andy Butler were credited with assists on the Coughlin tally.
When the horned sounded, the Bears special teams were credited with two powerplay goals, one shorthanded goal, and kept the Storm 0 for 9 on their man advantages. In a game that saw 20 infractions whistled on both teams combined, goalie Chris Clement stopped 26 of 27 shots. The Bears added 48 shots for the game. They finish their Northshore Conference schedule with a record of 3-3.
The Bears start the final stretch of their season on Tuesday, January 30th at 7:00pm in Beaver Dam against the Golden Beavers before heading home for a final 3 game home stand at the KMIC starting on Tuesday, February 6th at 5:00pm against Beloit. Their last two games will be Friday, February 9th at 7:00pm versus Green Bay and Saturday, February 10th at 7:00pm against Marquette.