On to St. Peter

Johnson scores twice as Tigers advance to section semifinals

Photo by Jake McNeill Marshall forward Jacob Johnson (10) skates with the puck during a boys hockey game against Luverne in Red Baron Arena on Feb. 1. The Tigers took on Mankato West in the Section 3A quarterfinals on Thursday night and picked up a 3-2 win to advance to the section semifinals.

MANKATO — Jacob Johnson scored a pair of key goals on Thursday night to give the fifth-seeded Marshall boys hockey team a 3-2 road win over No. 4 Mankato West in the Section 3A tournament. The win sends the Tigers to Gustavus Adolphus College for the section semifinals on Saturday, where they’ll take on top-seeded Luverne.

The win gives Marshall revenge for last year’s section quarterfinal, where the Scarlets scored four third-period goals to force overtime before ending the Tigers’ season with a 5-4 loss.

With the game tied halfway through the second period, Johnson scored what would go on to be the game-winning goal off a feed from Owen Renslow to give Marshall a 2-1 lead. The goal was 12th of the season and his sixth in his last four games. In addition to a four-game goal streak, Johnson’s goals also extended his point streak to five games.

Johnson’s first goal of the night came six minutes into the first period off an assist from Talan Plante. Marshall held onto that lead through the end of the period until Isaac Ulman tied the game up off an assist from Grady Hatlestad five minutes into the second period.

Easton Larsen put the game out of reach for the Tigers 10 minutes into the second period when an assist from Andrew Seanor and Chase Mellenthin allowed him to score a goal that increased Marshall’s lead to 3-1. The Tigers outshot Mankato West 15-8 in the second period. It was the only period they outshot the Scarlets.

Gavin Welsh had another terrific night in goal for the Tigers, finishing with 32 saves on 34 shots. His .941 save rate was the highest he’s had in a game since a 20-save, .952 mark against Minnesota River on Jan. 27. He’s now saved 87.6% of the shots he’s faced this season.

Marshall was called for a roughing minor with five minutes to play in the third period. Grady Schmidt capitalized with a power-play goal but it was too little, too late for Mankato West.

Marshall (15-11) will now head to St. Peter for the section semifinals against Luverne on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Luverne won both of the teams’ regular-season matchups, defeating Marshall 2-1 in Luverne and 6-2 in Marshall.


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