Photos by Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Bishop Dwenger players hoist the Memorial Cup after beating Leo for the city championship on Wednesday.
Bishop Dwenger’s Louie Knipscheer, left, and Leo’s Ryan Freeby fight for the puck at SportONE Parkview Icehouse.
Thursday, March 01, 2018 1:00 am
High School Hockey
Brothers buoy Saints to title
Knipscheers net 3,2 by Louie including game-winner late
JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette
Louie Knipscheer sped down the ice, toe-dragged the puck and then snapped it into the top of the net, cementing Bishop Dwenger’s 4-3 victory over Leo with just 40 seconds left Wednesday in the Memorial Cup city championship game, and then he set off upon his goal-scoring celebration.
He headed toward the dasher boards, pivoted toward the bench, extended his arms as if he were a superhero and leapt into the arms of teammates at the SportONE/Parkview Icehouse.
His brother, Griffin, who had scored an equally dazzling goal to put the Saints up 3-2 earlier in the period – he was camped out in front of the net and redirected a shot from the point – didn’t have quite as polished looking a celebration.
“Sometimes you’ve got to take a whack at the puck and hope for the best. That was sick,” he said of his Wednesday goal, after which he threw a fist into the air, fell to the ice and rolled before getting up, pumping his fist, almost falling again, then skating to the bench.
“I lost my edge. I was just too excited.”
In fairness, as Griffin, a senior, pointed out about his little brother, a freshman, “I would like to say I have a better (celebration) than him, but he may have more practice at it.”
During the regular season, Louie had a league-best 19 goals and 27 points in 17 games, while Griffin had five goals and seven points.
With three goals between them Wednesday (Louie had two), the Knipscheer brothers lived up to their surname, which is well known in hockey circles around here, especially since their uncle Fred, a native of Fort Wayne, played 28 games in the NHL for Boston and St. Louis.
“It’s a big name to live up to but we just go out and play hockey,” Griffin said.
Louie’s winning goal came after coach Steve Yackley had called a timeout because Leo’s Matthew Clauser had tied it with a rocketing shot from the right boards with 2:56 left – his second goal of the night.
Yackley’s message, Louie said, was to “just keep shooting on net and things will happen.”
They certainly did, thanks to the freshman.
“I don’t really know what happened. I just skated down as fast as I could and shot it,” Louie said.
Also scoring were Bishop Dwenger’s Michael Zaremba and Leo’s Lucas Robins, on a night when both goalies – the Lions’ Kyler Bayes and the Saints’ Steven Vlot – had numerous stops on shots from point-blank range.
“Griffin is a senior and has been there for us for four years. He’s been there through the ups and downs. His tip-in goal at the start of the third period was huge. And Louie has been one of the leading scorers all year,” Yackley said. “That’s not to take away from the seniors we have. We have a lot of guys who play the right way. They may not get on the scoresheets but they play the right way.”
Bishop Dwenger entered the tournament as the top seed thanks to a 16-3-1 record. Leo was third with a 14-5-1 record but defeated second-seeded Carroll 5-4 in the semifinals, while the Saints defeated Homestead 3-2 in overtime.
Note: Chase Warner, a former Carroll and travel hockey player, was posthumously honored as a Memorial Cup recipient. He died at 21 in a car crash last year.