DOMINATING VICTORY: Redmen Blitz Eskymos
WELLS---The Marquette High School hockey team scored four goals in the first 6:07 of the game and rolled to a 7-1 win over the Escanaba Eskymos Thursday night at the Wells Sports Complex.
Jack Sides scored twice and Jakob Peterson had three assists to lead the Redmen, the fifth-ranked team in the state. Marquette improved to 12-3-0 on the season in beating the Eskymos for the second time this season. Escanaba’s record fell to 8-6-0.
“We came out flat,” Escanaba Coach Matt Hughes said. “We didn’t respond. They move the puck around and they support each other real well. They race and they battle for pucks. We didn’t battle for a puck tonight. When there was a 50/50 puck, our guys backed off. It was almost like we were scared to be out there, honestly.”
“I thought we started well,” Marquette Coach Doug Garrow said. “I mean, 12 seconds in, Ansel Frost got a goal and I thought that got the team some confidence early. We had some momentum and we just carried that through the first five, six minutes.”
Ansel Frost converted an Eskymo turnover and ripped one by Eskymo goaltender Trevor Denome just 12 seconds into the game. Only one minute later, Sides went top shelf for the first of his goals.
Marquette’s speed caused big headaches for Escanaba, as the Eskymos were on their heels and were caught trying to chase the Redmen, especially in the neutral zone. Andrew Fedrizzi blasted one from the point to make it a 3-0 game just 4:34 into the game.
The Eskymos went to the penalty box shortly after that Redman goal, and Hogan Nemetz cashed in with the power play goal from the top of the goal crease to make it 4-0 on just seven shots.
“We’ve got a good skating team,” Garrow said. “I’ve got four lines that I can roll, and we try to play four lines. I thought everybody played well and it was a good team defense, too. I thought our D played well and we had a lot of forwards coming back and backchecking, too. That makes their (defensemen) job easier.”
Ethan Phillips made it 5-0 just 1:16 into the second period, and then the Redmen got two straight power plays as Luke Labre went to the box twice. The Eskymos killed off both power plays, and got their first big scoring chance when Karson Krutina found is big brother Kyle all alone in front of the net, but Redmen freshman goalie Liam Beerman made the save.
Then moments later, Escanaba freshman Sawyer LaMarch got pulled down as he drove to the net. He was awarded a penalty shot, but Beerman held his ground between the pipes and made the save. It was the second penalty shot this season for LaMarch, who also missed on one against Orchard Lake St. Mary on Dec. 27.
Sides scored his second goal of the game late in the period to make it 6-0, then Dylan Baldwin scored midway through the third period after Denome had made three saves in a flurry around the net.
“We haven’t been keeping track of turnovers, but I kept track tonight,” Hughes said. “We had 25 turnovers in the defensive zone in the first two periods. That’s way too many. I understand that guys make mistakes. But those type of things shouldn’t be happening in the middle of January. Guys know better. We’ve been going at this for two and a half months straight!”
The Eskymos were able to break the shutout late in the game when Kyle Krutina scored off the pass from his little brother, Karson.
Marquette outshot Escanaba, 48-12. Denome, after allowing four goals on the first seven shots he faced, stopped 38 of the final 41 shots that were fired at him.
“We hung him out to dry a few times,” Hughes said. “He made some big saves and they put a lot of pressure on us. We need to get better as a group and make smarter, simpler plays.”
It doesn’t get any easier for the Eskymos as the top-ranked team in the state in Division Three, the Calumet Copper Kings, comes to town on Tuesday. Face-off is 7:00. The game will be broadcast on WCHT-AM (NewsTalk 600), and on-line at www.rrnsports.com,
“They’re fast, they’re skilled, they’re good on special teams,” Hughes said of Calumet. “We can’t afford to take penalties and we can’t afford to turn the puck over the way we did tonight.”
Click the thumbnails in the ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS box above to see photos and videos taken by Micky LaMarch. Also hear post-game comments from both Hughes and Garrow, and the player spotlight interview with brothers Jayger and Sawyer LaMarch.