PREP BOYS HOCKEY: Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato snaps Marshall’s win streak at nine
MARSHALL – The Marshall boys hockey team came into their game Thursday night looking to extend its nine-game win streak. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they couldn’t get the offensive gears going as Marshall fell to Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato 2-1 at the Red Baron Arena and Expo.
Marshall’s lone goal came in the final few seconds of the game, as the Dragons found two early goals in the first period to hold on until the end.
Despite the tough loss, Marshall coach Michael Weiss knows that the team can take some positive things away from the game and learn from their mistakes that were made on both offense and defense.
“We showed that we could battle, right up until the end we were in it. We had our chances to win a big game. As long as we can battle, we can be there with anybody,” said Weiss. “Offensively we need to get more possessions, we gave up a lot of pucks on face offs and we didn’t get enough zone time and shots to their net and defensively we kept them to the outside a lot tonight and Dominik was able to see them come in and stop them for us.”
Right from the start the Tigers and the Dragons were in for a tough battle on the ice, as both teams were fast, aggressive and determined in the opening minutes. The Dragons and Tigers fought it out for the entirety of the period until LDC found the back of the net with 49.3 seconds left, putting itself up 1-0. That wasn’t the end for the Dragon offense in the frame, as they found one more opportunity to put another goal on the board before end of the period to increase the lead to 2-0 over the Tigers going into the second. Marshall goaltender Dominik Caspers saw multiple strong saves but lost that connection as it came down to the final seconds of the period.
The Tigers came into the second period determined and ready to get back what they had lost in the first. It was another fast and aggressive frame that led to three penalties for Marshall and two for LDC. The Dragons defense tested the Tigers offense as Marshall found itself struggling to connect and follow through on its shots in the second. It was a period of back-and-forth action with no scoring from either team as LDC went into the third period with its two-goal lead over the Tigers.
Controlled and clean offense was something the Tigers needed as they came into the third period, but couldn’t work past a few of their weaknesses as they started off the third. Meanwhile, the Dragons offense continued to dominate over Marshall, keeping the puck on their end of the ice for a majority of the period. When the Tigers would finally get the puck on their offensive end they took every shot opportunity they could get but couldn’t find the connection that they needed to get a goal on the board. The time withered away on the clock, giving the Tigers less time to find the back of the net and fought as hard as they could. Marshall finally found what it was looking for as Noah Versaevel put one in for the Tigers on the assist from Mason Plante with only 3.3 seconds left on the clock. The Dragons held on to their lead for the entirety of the game, which helped lead themselves to the victory over the Tigers.
Going forward into their final games of regular season Weiss wants to see cleaner games being played by the boys and staying controlled on both ends.
“We have to play a cleaner game, we can’t take as many penalties,” said Weiss. “We have to continue to battle and hopefully we will be in a good spot at the end of the game.”
The Tigers will be on the road for their next game as they travel to play the Minnesota River Bulldogs on Saturday.