MARQUETTE - After what Marquette Senior High School hockey coach Joe Papin called an "uncharacteristic" 6-1 loss to Grosse Pointe North the day before, the Redmen hockey team took part in a little locker room regrouping on Sunday.
As a result of that pregame chat, MSHS came through with a 5-1 defeat of Novi at Lakeview Arena to improved to 6-4 overall, while Novi, the defending state champion, dropped to 6-6-1.
"The pregame talk was a little bit stern, shall we say," Papin said. "(It was) gut check time for a lot of our guys."
Senior Cody Nordquist, who scored two goals for the Redmen in Sunday's game, saw a huge difference in the way his team played after the discussion.
"(We were) telling each other what we need to do for each other to win games," he said. "We all decided that we were here for each other.
"It was a big team win after falling 6-1 on Saturday. We kind of fell apart (on Saturday) because it was just a bunch of individuals. Today was a team effort and it really paid off."
Papin, who referred to the win on Sunday as a reflection of good leadership in the locker room, was the most satisfied with his team's ability shake off two days worth of tough losses to get a win.
"Compared to yesterday, it was a great game by our guys," he said. "I thought they responded very well to my pregame locker room talk. Hopefully they learned from it and know that they need each other to have success.
"You can't rely on just one or two guys to win hockey games, and I thought today's game was 100-percent better than yesterday's game."
Austin Riipi scored the Redmen's first two goals, with the first coming 7:41 into the game. He snuck goal past Novi goaltender Austin Petty 2:06 into the second to make the game 2-0.
Nordquist scored the first of his two goals at 5:36 in the second to make it 3-0, before Novi's Kent Burnett put the Wildcats on the board with a goal at 11:16.
Nordquist finished an attempt by Eric Chapman at 5:26 of the third period for his second goal, while Chapman put in one of his own to finish out Redmen scoring with just over five minutes left in the game.
"We're not very successful if all of our guys don't contribute," Papin said. "I thought (everyone) stepped up today, including Evan Kyle who had a good game in the net."
Kyle had 25 saves for the Redmen, while Petty had 19 for the Wildcats. Kyle Carriere had a hand in three assists for MSHS.
"(The team) plays the way they're coached," Papin said. "When we get away from that and we start ad libbing, we're not a very good hockey team."
MSHS plays in Kingsford at 7 p.m. Thursday.