MARQUETTE - A 3-0 hockey lead at home is often money in the bank.
The Marquette Senior High School hockey Redmen just couldn't make the deposit Friday night, however.
MSHS squandered that three-goal advantage as Sault Ste. Marie rallied for a 4-3 victory at Lakeview Arena.
Marquette Senior High School's Brett Specker (13) dishes the puck up ice as Sault Ste. Marie's Christian Wilkins (16) attempts to defend during the first period of a high school hockey game at Lakeview Arena in Marquette on Friday. (Journal photo by Zach Jay)
"I thought we might sneak this one out," MSHS head coach Mike L'Huilier said after his icers fell to 1-2 on the season. "Our defense is just not clearing out in front of the net."
The visiting Blue Devils (3-0), playing their first game in two weeks, got a breakaway goal from Chase Gamelin with 5:38 left to cap a three-goal explosion and win the game.
The two teams play again at 2 p.m. today at Lakeview.
Sault Ste. Marie at Marquette, 2 p.m., Lakeview Arena
"The hockey gods gave us the opportunity to come back," Soo head coach John Ferroni said. "Mike (L'Huillier) probably deserved that one.
"We just won the special teams game."
The Blue Devils scored a power play goal, a shorthanded marker and another one 4 on 4.
Tyler Jackson notched two goals and Forest Folker collected two assists, but the Redmen also put just 12 shots on the Soo goal.
The visitors peppered MSHS goaltender Evan Kyle with 35 shots.
"(Kyle) played well. He's a good goaltender," Ferroni said. "We just weren't ... getting any rebounds early (though)."
Jackson scored the first two goals of the game, both on scrambles in front of Soo goaltender Nickolas McKenzie.
Shawn Cornock gave the Redmen a 3-0 lead at 12:59 of the second period on a slap shot from the right point through McKenzie's five-hole.
Kyle made three straight saves in a Soo offensive flurry a bit later, but the Blue Devils' Chase Meehan got a rebound and slammed it home for a goal to get his team on the board with 2:12 remaining in the stanza.
The Soo then got a shorthanded marker just 45 seconds into the third period. Christian Wilkins deflected a shot from the right point high past Kyle despite the Blue Devils being a man down.
"I think our morale was busted after that goal," L'Huillier said. "That broke our back. We looked tired in the third period."
Added Ferroni: "We needed that tip. Nine out of 10 times Kyle gets it during that point of a game."
Kyle TenEyck tied the game about four minutes later on a rebound, setting up Gamelin's game-winner.
"The Soo is a good team. You can see that by the way they move the puck," L'Huillier said. "We just had so many problems in our defensive zone getting the puck out.
"We were losing the battles along the boards.
"I've never seen so many odd-man rushes against us in the last two games, either," he added. "We were pinching in and no one was coming back (to backcheck)."
Kyle finished with 31 saves; McKenzie had nine.
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is cremsburg@ miningjournal.net.