Wyandotte skates past Berkley, behind Brancheau’s hat trick
Berkley – Jason Brancheau’s hat trick led Wyandotte Roosevelt to a 6-3 victory over Berkley Unified on Wednesday at Berkley Ice Arena.
Wyandotte outshot Berkley Bears 31-25 in a fast-paced, hard-hitting game.
“It was good, we just moved the puck how we do it, they got it to me and I was able to shoot and score,” Brancheau said.
Brancheau, a junior forward, entered the game as Wyandotte’s leading scorer and his four-point night kept him atop the team with 14 goals and 20 assists this season.
Both teams came out strong with Berkley carrying the play early.
But it was Brancheau who drew first blood for Wyandotte 6:45 into the game.
“We’re coming off a rough couple weeks so for us it was a big game to see if we could turn it around,” Wyandotte coach Michael Quint said.
Less than five minutes later, Brancheau struck again picking the far corner for his second of the night on a 2-on-1 rush that started at his team’s blue line.
“They were a hard team and we stuck to our game plan,” Brancheau said.
Wyandotte led 2-0 at the end of the first period and it looked like it would be able to add more early in the second as Berkley was down a man for three minutes, the result of a five-minute major penalty late in the first period.
“We generally don’t take that many penalties,” Berkley coach Jeff Fleming said.
Berkley held off the Wyandotte attack and killed the remainder of the penalty, giving them something positive to build on the rest of the second period.
The visitors attack dictated the pace much of the middle stanza though, with Wyandotte picking up 13 shots to three for Berkley.
Wyandotte junior forward Steven Greene added another just after the ten minute mark of the second, making it 3-0.
With the start of the third period, the visitors added another two quick goals from senior forwards Eric Bell and Matt Calhoun.
Berkley fought back with goals from senior forwards Ryan Austin and Ian Melrose midway through the period, but Wyandotte stole the momentum right back with Brancheau’s third of the night with two minutes and change left to play.
Senior forward Ranen Fisk got one back for Berkley in the dying seconds with the assist coming from sophomore forward Liam Fox.
Senior goaltender Michael Schwanke of Berkley was peppered with shots all night and made some nice saves, keeping his team in it.
“He’s been pretty consistent throughout this year showing up big,” Fleming said.