from Saturday's Waukesha Freeman -
Murnane finds way to get it done
Stars goalie admits his style is ‘unique’
BROOKFIELD – Steve Chapin has become accustomed to winning the way his team did Friday night.
Senior goaltender J.J. Murnane spent much of his time fighting off shots in front of an army of attackers to lead the Brookfield/ Catholic Memorial co-op boys hockey team to a 4-2 Classic 8 Conference victory over Greendale at The Ponds of Brookfield on Friday.
“J.J.’s been doing that all year,” Chapin said. “He’s the backbone of this whole team and he kept us in the game again tonight.”
Murnane is the first to admit his form isn’t exactly the most picturesque, or even fundamentally sound – but for him and his Stars teammates, it works.
“I’ve always been a little unique,” Murnane said. “I never really had anyone teaching me (the position) growing up, but I’ve always found a way to just stop the puck.”
He did so 27 times Friday, giving his teammates a chance to figure out a way to combat an aggressive Greendale defense early in the first period.
Brookfield/Catholic Memorial had a golden opportunity to take the lead late in the period when Mike Hawthorne unleashed a shot just a few feet in front of the crease. But the puck deflected off the skate of a Greendale defender, bouncing back to junior forward John Rymaszewski, whose onetimer was caught by goaltender Konnor Ondriezek with 2:30 left in the period.
Less than a minute later, the Stars broke through when junior forward Riley Keays took a pass just past the right circle and skated in front of Schultz, beating him glove side for a 1-0 lead with 1:40 remaining.
The Stars went ahead 2-0 midway through the second period on a goal by Robbie Fosdick, and Chapin’s team began to settle in.
“We were forcing stuff,” Chapin said of the Stars’ early-game struggles. “We seemed to want to take the puck into their defense. We made an adjustment late in the period to let them come to us, create space and try and get an odd-man rush the other way.”
Junior forward Justin Hill was called for interference – the first penalty of the game – with 21.9 seconds left in the second, putting Greendale on the power play. But the Ice Force couldn’t do anything against the Stars’ penaltykill unit.
The Ice Force got on the board when Joey Unrein scored, cutting the deficit to 2-1, with 12:05 remaining in the third.
“He’s a good goalie,” Greendale coach John Kennedy said of Murnane. “You have to get traffic in front of him and you have to take advantage of second- chance opportunities to get him. We were able to do it once, we just don’t have enough depth to do it often enough.”
Playing shorthanded after Jeremy Campbell was called for a penalty, Brookfield/Catholic Memorial restored the two-goal lead, 3-1, with 4:03 left when Rymaszewski scored on a one-on-one, getting the puck underneath a spread-out Ondriezek.
Still on the power-play, the Ice Force got back with a goal, 3-2, on a power-play goal by defenseman Mitch Hart with 4:03 remaining but again, the Stars answered, this time on Keays’ second score in the game which came with 2:04 left.
“That’s just the way we play,” Chapin said. “We’re not the prettiest team in the world, but we pride ourselves on being able to hunker down and take a beating, but then we strike. That’s our thing.”
Rymaszewski finished with two goals and Fosdick had an assist to go along with his second-period goal. Keays also finished with a goal and an assist for Brookfield/Catholic Memorial, which improved to 8-1-1 overall.