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Wildcats holds off Ithaca, returns to state semifinal

WG plays in first state semifinal since '09

Held without a goal for more than 14 minutes at the end of the half, WG made its own comeback in the third quarter, erasing a pair of two-goal deficits and seizing an 8-7 lead going to the final period.

Early in the fourth quarter, Ryan St. Croix hit a shot off the pipe, the third time a Wildcat shot found iron in this game, a sort of payback for the pipe F-M's Ryan DaRin hit at the end of regulation in the sectional final - or at least it felt that way after Henderson scored with 8:20 left to tie it, 8-8.

Staying cool, WG answered 20 seconds later as St. Croix notched the go-ahead goal. Two minutes after that, it was Marc Niechcial's turn to convert, extending WG's lead to 10-8.

As it turned out, Niechcial's goal was the game-winner, as Ithaca made its late charge, but hit the iron when it needed to beat Koziol, who finished the night with 14 saves.

St. Croix produced a three-goal hat trick, while Niechcial and Ted Glesener had two goals apiece. Brady Hoose, Tom Pritchard and Jimmy Cunningham chimed in with one goal apiece as Dan Ginestro, the overtime hero against F-M, added an assist. Joseph Howe led Ithaca with three goals.

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