The 43rd annual Boys State Hockey tournament is under way in Madison. The Verona Wildcats are making its second straight trip to state and fifth overall.
They draw Wausau West in the first quarter final of the day at the Alliant Energy Center.
The wildcats get on the board in the first when Nolan Kepler scores the rebound goal. It's the beginning of a big day for the senior.
Verona led 3-1 going into the third.
But Wausau West scores two quick goals to start the third to tie the game at three.
Verona thinks they take the lead when Brogan Baker appears to score the goal but while the Wildcats celebrate, the officials do not stop play. But after a review they do count the goal. Verona leads 4-3.
The insurance goal comes moments later and its Nolan Kepler for his third of the game. The senior gets the hat trick in the state quarter finals.
Verona wins 6-3. They will face Green Bay Notre Dame in the state semi finals tomorrow at six.
The Tritions beat the Wildcats 7-0 nothing earlier this year at the Eagles Nest.
Verona is now 26-2 on the year.
"With the roller coasters of emotions going on all game it feels awesome to get the win and I love it," said Nolan Kepler after the game.
"We have some pretty good goal scorers in Zach Jones and Charlie Parker and when you get a guy like Nolan Kepler a hard working guy that pops a few in the team really responds to that they all work hard and a guy like that gets rewarded the team is really up," said head coach Joel Marshall.