PREP BOYS HOCKEY: Win streak hits nine for Tigers against Waseca
MARSHALL – The Marshall boys hockey team showed determination, strength and courage all throughout their game against Waseca on Friday night. Those three aspects proved to be the winning combination as the Tigers escaped its Big South showdown to earn a 5-4 victory over the Bluejays and extend their winning streak to nine.
It was a big night for the Tigers but the game wouldn’t have been the way it was if it wasn’t for the boys’ teamwork on the ice. Junior Mason Plante sees the team finally working together and keeping each other accountable for the way they play, which helps them stay focused in the games but knows there is still room for improvement on offense as they finish out the rest of their season.
“We’ve become best friends on the ice, I don’t think any of us have a problem with each other. Teamwork is the biggest part of how this team is going to work and if we can keep this up we will continue to win,” said Plante. “If we keep continuing to get into the other teams heads, get pucks deep and shoot them at the net it will make our offense work better.”
There was nothing holding the Tigers back from starting the night off with an early lead as Plante put one in on the assist from Kaleb Welvaert just 23 seconds into the first period. The Tigers’ strengths on defense held the Bluejays scoreless until there was 10:50 on the clock as Brett Attenberger put one in on the power play to tie the score up at 1-1. The deadlock didn’t slow down the Tigers from playing aggressive with the puck, though, as they were able to find good shots but just couldn’t make the connections they wanted and ended the first period still knotted up at 1-1.
The second period didn’t start out as fast as the first but it did in similar scoring fashion as Plante found another opportunity to put his second goal in for the Tigers, this time by himself with just 12:33 left on the clock to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead. With Marshall taking the lead back from the Bluejays it gave them the confidence to keep moving the puck fast on the offensive side. With a few moves around Waseca’s defense, Chase VanDeVere maneuvered his way towards the net and fired one past the goaltender for an unassisted goal to make it 3-1 with 6:25 left to play in the second. Waseca responded to the Tigers goal, though, and worked around their defense to put another one in to close the gap on the Tigers at 3-2 with 2:50 left on the clock. Marshall didn’t let that get into its heads and found another opportunity to extend its lead to 4-2 thanks to another goal from VanDeVere on the assist from Bryson Whyte as the Tigers took the two-goal lead into the final frame.
Plante’s determination didn’t cease after two goals, as he found his last unassisted goal of the night to complete his hat trick with 11:56 left in the third period to grow the Tigers lead to 5-2. Despite falling three goals behind the Tigers, the Bluejays fought back hard to the Tigers strong and dominate offense as they found the back of the net to start closing the gap on Marshall at 5-3 with 10:22 left in the game. Waseca continued to stay on the attack on offense, and capitalized, scoring with 9:45 left to cut to just a one-score game. But Marshall remained determined the rest of the way and held off the Bluejays’ comeback efforts to pull out the narrow victory.
Marshall outshot Waseca 26-25 on the game. Dominik Caspers earned the victory in net for the Tigers, stopping 21 saves.
There were a few mistakes that were made in the first period that Marshall coach Michael Weiss noticed but it’s nothing that can’t stop them from working hard in the future and keep winning games.
“The first period we weren’t catching passes, weren’t making good passes and we weren’t handling the puck well. We just need to settle things down and start making plays,” said Weiss. “We have to continue to work hard and towards the end of the game you have to know when to make the right plays and do the right things to get the puck onto our end.”
The Tigers will be back on their home rink Thursday against Litchfield.