It was a humbling experience for the Marshall boys' hockey team last Thursday when the Tigers lost to Windom Area for the first time since 2005. But their response Saturday against Hutchinson, it was exhilarating.
Scoring four goals in the first period and getting a hat trick from senior forward Beau Mikel, Marshall bounced back from its first loss of the season with an 8-5 victory in Hutchinson. First-year head coach Dave Coudert said he was told it was the first time Marshall had ever beat Hutchinson in Hutchinson.
"They weren't too happy about Windom," Coudert said. "We started the day off with a team event before we took off on the bus and they just said that they were going to go out and put a better effort out there, and I think the score definitely showed that they were committed to doing better. They worked hard against a really tough team from Hutch."
It was a crazy first period for both Tiger teams, which combined for seven goals. Hutchinson (0-2 overall) opened things up with a goal 1 minute, 10 seconds into the game, and just over a minute later Marshall's Leo Zerr answered with the first of his two goals on the night. Each team had a five-minute major penalty in the first period, and both teams took advantage. Marshall (2-1) scored two power play goals in the period, one by Andrew Bell and another by Tyler Untiedt, and Hutchinson also scored a pair of goals on the power play.
By the end of the first, Marshall had a 4-3 lead.
Marshall scored three goals on four power play opportunities in the game and also scored two shorthanded goals. Coudert said his team has had tremendous success converting on power plays so far this season.
Marshall4 2 2-8
Hutchinson3 2 0-5
H-Logan Goosen (Cody Nielson, Carter Mandelkow), 1:10
M-Leo Zerr (unassisted), 2:26
H-Goosen (Nielson, Tory Adams), 7:41 (PP)
M-Quinn Horvath, 10:00 (SH)
M-Andrew Bell (Alex Buysse), 14:48 (PP)
H-Matthew Cowger (unassisted), 15:42
M-Tyler Untiedt (Bell, Buysse), 15:52
M-Beau Mikel (Horvath), 5:38
H-Austin Mandelkow (Carter Mandelkow), 8:49
M-Zerr (unassisted), 11:25 (SH)
H-Nielson (unassisted), 16:33 (PP)
M-Beau Mikel (Buysse, Horvath), 5:15
M-Mikel (Zerr), 12:44
Shots on Goal: M 33, H 44.
Goaltenders: M-Adam Cavazos (39 saves); H-Kellyn Buss (9 saves), Zach Allen (16 saves).
"Our power play was really working," he said. "I think we're up around 30 or 40 percent right now, which is unbelievable.
"With the skill players that we have, they can move the puck and generate shots on net and everyone has bought into crashing the net and getting the garbage goals, because they win games. I think (Saturday) most of our goals were the greasy garbage goals, and that's what won the game."
Both teams scored twice in the second period, where Mikel scored the first of his three goals. He also scored the only two goals in the third period to help Marshall pull away.
It was exactly the type of performance Coudert was hoping to see from his senior leader.
"Beau's a heck of a player, it's not just (Saturday) night, it's every single game," Coudert said. "He always brings out his "A" game, and not only that, he demands the best and the most out of his teammates. He sets the tone for us and everyone follows. We're lucky to have him. He works hard every single shift and we can always count on him in any situation to be responsible out on the ice."
Marshall has another key road game ahead of it, as it will take on Southwest Conference rival Luverne on Tuesday before the Tigers play their first home game of the season Thursday against New Ulm.