A year ago, was a freshman and just a small cog in the Deerfield hockey team’s White Division state championship. But Wednesday night in Rolling Meadows, Wiggemansen turned into the main engine.
The sophomore buried a rebound with 9:14 left in overtime to give Deerfield a 5-4 victory over Wheaton Warrenville South to earn the warriors their second consecutive White Division title.
“Shoot and score and end the season,” Wiggemansen said. “I just wanted to put the puck in the net at the end.”
Deerfield was surprised be in the state title game again. The Warriors graduated 12 seniors a year ago and had expected to be in a rebuilding year. But led by Wiggemansen, who finished the season with 42 goals including 5 in the semifinal victory over Loyola Academy, the Warriors were able to make the title run.
“There is no better way to win a game like that,” Deerfield Coach Chris Waters said. “Both teams played their best games. We played hard and we earned it.”
Deerfield dominated play in the first period as the Warriors outshot Wheaton Warrenville South, 10-4.
Deerfield appeared to light the lamp early when Wiggemansen poked a rebound past Tiger goalie Adam Filipiak. But the officials ruled that play had been whistled dead.
Warriors Score First
The Warriors broke through late in the period. Wiggemansen outmuscled a Tiger defender in the corner and passed to Adam Cloch in the high slot. Friend then drilled the puck past Filipiak to make it 1-0 with 1:29 left in the first period.
Wheaton Warrenville South used a power play early in the second period to regain momentum. The Tigers, who had six shots on goal during the power play, tied it just ten seconds after the penalty expired on a goal by Chris Koziel with 11:00 left in the second period.
The score then changed twice in less than a minute. The Tigers then took the lead 30 seconds later on an unassisted goal by Matt Karstens. But Deerfield tied it just 12 seconds later. Wiggemansen took a feed from John Kerstein from the corner and scored to make it 2-2.
Spencer Delman then gave Deerfield the edge on an unassisted goal. Delman stole the puck at his own blue line and outmuscled the Wheaton defender to the goal firing a backhander that slipped inside the post to make it 3-2 with 7:02 left in the second period.
“We were coming out a little slow,” Delman said. “I got a loose puck and beat the defender wide. I then put it in the top corner right where I was aiming for.”
But Wheaton, which had 18 shots in the second period on Adam Serck, tied the game at 3-3 on a power play goal by Jason Wasser with 3:47 left in the second period.
Kerstein Regains Lead for Warriors
Deerfield regained the lead, 4-3, with 10:26 left in regulation. Kerstein outbattled two Wheaton defenders on the far boards for the puck. He then centered to Henri Beaudoin who was racing up the slot all alone. Beaudoin took the puck and quickly fired it past Filipiak.
“I was aiming for anything other than the net,” Beaudoin said. “It was all adrenalin. I shot it and it went in.”
“It was a big one for us,” Kerstein said, who finished with two assists. “I picked it up and started to go straight down the boards. I stopped and saw and Henri and saw that there was no one with him.”
Deerfield tightened up its defense from there.
Deerfield Defense Stiffens
Patrick Beaudoin, Adam Cloch, Jake Glass, Friend and Adam Poncher kept the Tigers away from Serck, allowing just three shots. Unfortunately, one of those was a rebound by Jason Kuta, to tie the game at 4 with 2:51 left in regulation sending it into overtime.
Deerfield pressured Wheaton from the onset in overtime. That paid off when Wiggemansen had a rebound of a shot by Delman, bounce right to him and the 6’-2” forward blasted the puck into the open net to ignite the celebration.
“This state title was much more nerve racking,” Wiggemansen said “But it was way more fun. Nothing like winning in overtime.”
Waters, who returns the bulk of his team next year, is looking to make it up to the Red division next season and make a run there.
“We have a lot of talent coming back for next year.” Waters said. “I am looking forward to it. Hopefully we can get a chance to compete in the Red division.”