Slow start stops Marshall short vs. MBA

Tigers unable to come back after allowing three-goal first period

Sean Nwaiga (4) flicks a wrist shot toward the goal as he pushes his way past a pair of defenders in the third period of Marshall's 5-3 loss to Morris/Benson Area in the Tiger Hockey Thanksgiving Classic Saturday afternoon

MARSHALL — The Marshall Boys’ Hockey Team was unable to complete a valiant comeback effort in their Tiger Hockey Thanksgiving Classic consolation game against Morris/Benson Area Saturday afternoon. The Tigers fell behind 3-1 in the first period, and though they battled back, eventually fell 5-3.

“We didn’t really have it. Things weren’t clicking very well,” Marshall head coach Michael Weiss said of the first period. “We told the guys to keep working hard, stay after it, make some plays, and we turned it around a little bit.”

“It’s frustrating, we can take away that we were working hard, but just didn’t connect on plays. We didn’t come out right away in the first, so there are things we can learn and that’s why we play these early games, so we can get some experience before our section games next week.”

The Storm scored on each of their first two shots on goal and three of their first five. The Tigers’ defense clamped down from there, shutting the Storm out in the second period and allowing just one goal before pulling their goalie in the third, but the damage was done.

The Tigers outshot the Storm 33-17 but were unable to convert those shots on goal into points on the scoreboard.

“I just think that the quality of chances that we were getting the first couple of periods wasn’t great,” Weiss said. “We started getting some better looks as the game went on, but just the quality of chances weren’t quite what we want.”

Parker Schmitt put the Tigers on the board in the first period while they trailed 2-0. He received a pass from Tyler Welsh by the blue line and took it up to just behind the right face-off circle before sending a wrist shot into the top left corner of the net to cut the deficit in half.

Schmitt would score his second goal of the game in the third period after battling through a pair of defenders for the puck on a fast break and sniping bar down to cut MBA’s lead to 4-3 with under five minutes remaining.

The goal would have tied the game for the Tigers, but the Storm benefitted from a Marshall own goal. A storm player attempted to make a pass to his teammate from behind the net, but the puck deflected off the back of the Marshall goaltender’s leg and went into the net to give the Storm a 4-2 lead.

The Tigers were unable to tie the game at any point after MBA’s first goal, but they came within one goal on three separate occasions. Aside from Schmitt’s goal, Malachi Klemm finished on a one-timer off a pass from Sean Nwaiga to make the score 3-2 in favor of the Storm.

“Sean’s a really great playmaker, but Malachi did a good job finding the open space. He had a great lane for Sean to get it to him and he was able to bury it, so it’s good on both of their ends there,” Weiss said

Marshall pulled their goalie for the final two minutes as a last-ditch effort for the tie. While they came close on a few occasions, MBA was able to score an empty-netter to ice the game in the final 30 seconds.

Following the loss, Marshall (0-2) will host Luverne Tuesday at 7 p.m.


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