From staff reports
ELK RAPIDS — For the second straight year, Elk Rapids is headed to the Final Four.
The Elks defeated No. 3-ranked Whitehall 2-1 in Friday's Division 3 regional championship game.
The No. 7 Elks (20-5) advance to the semifinals Wednesday against Williamston.
Austin McMullen, Spencer LaPointe, Jesse Starr and Talon Felker converted Elk Rapids' first four penalty kicks to win the shootout 4-3.
Goalie Tim Barber stopped two Vikings penalty shots and nearly deflected each of the other three as well.
"He saved the first one, upper 90," Elks coach Nate Plum said. "He's been tremendous on PKs. We've been waiting for this. He got a hand on every PK."
Whitehall took a 1-0 lead in the first overtime session, but LaPointe knotted it back up 12 seconds into the second off a McMullen assist.
"I could see the look in their eyes that they weren't ready to give up after going down 1-0," Plum said.
"I've had stress on my shoulders all week and haven't slept well," Plum said. "It's so much easier to play than to just stand there."
Elk Rapids lost 3-1 to Williamston earlier this season in a game in which the Elks dominated in shots on goal.
"We had a lot more shots on goal and just couldn't put them away," Plum said.
The semifinal is tentatively set to be played in Midland.