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Ice Bears come so close to winning a state title

MADISON (WLUK) -- With about 2:30 minutes left in Saturday's girl state hockey championship game the Bay Area Ice Bears could almost taste the state title.

The Ice Bears led 1-0 and the way Ana Holzbach was playing in goal, it looked like the Ice Bears would win their second state title and first since 2014,

But moments later D.C. Everest tied the game with a goal and then stunned Bay Area with an overtime power play goal as the Storm stormed back to edge the Ice Bears, 2-1, at the Alliant Energy Center.

"It's going to take a while to digest this one and I'm sure I'll think about for the next week different scenarios and what could've been," Ice Bears coach Brandon Erkkila said. "A lot of people didn't think we'd be in the championship game. Our girls fought tough. I'm proud of these girls. It'll take a while to get past this one but we'll be all right."

"Even though we lost it's an unreal feeling to be here at state, finishing off our senior year," senior Morgan Zirbel said. "Even though we lost we played a great game. This team did great, just didn't come out on top."

Green Bay (21-5-1) was outshot, 34-15, but stayed in the game as Holzbach recorded 32 saves. The Ice Bears, however, didn't record a shot on goal in overtime, while the Storm had five shots.

In the end, the Ice Bears fell short, but Zirbel was able to reflect on a great season.

"It's been such a special ride to be here in this rink with these girls," Zirbel. said. "An unreal feeling."

Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay

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