NEGAUNEE - Both teams are fairly young.
Both entered the game at 1-3.
Yet, Marquette and Negaunee remain in two different worlds on the hockey rink.
Marquette’s Tyler Jackson tries to skate around Negaunee’s Michael Farley during the first period at the Negaunee Ice Arena on Thursday. (Journal photo by Matt Keiser)
The Redmen pulled off a 9-2 victory at the Negaunee Ice Arena on Thursday night as Marquette put three times as many shots on net as the Miners, 48-16.
MSHS was on a three-game losing streak in games against a pair of the Upper Peninsula's best teams, Escanaba and Sault Ste. Marie (twice), so coach Mike L'Huillier was looking for a chance for his team to regroup.
"They played our system a lot better tonight," L'Huillier said, "and really got in front (of the net) for rebounds and tips.
"I hadn't seen that the last few games."
On the other hand, Negaunee was looking to make small steps forward with a roster that includes a dozen sophomores and two freshmen.
"When you're rebuilding like this, I'm just looking to finish out every game," Miners coach Eric Hill said, talking about avoiding the eight-goal mercy rule in high school hockey.
"It's the little victories we're looking for, like getting a couple of goals on these guys. We haven't scored more than one goal on them each game over the past number of years.
"Our goaltender kept us in the game for awhile, and we even hit the post once in the first period."
If that puck would've went in, the teams would've been tied 1-1 after one period due to some quick reflexes by Miners goalie Anthony Moyle, one of those dozen 10th graders.
As it was, Marquette held a 1-0 lead at that intermission despite amassing a big 17-1 shots advantage - the one Negaunee shot coming on a trickler that might not have made it to the goal line if Redmen netminder Ethan Wiese hadn't scooped it up.
"We couldn't get the puck in the net, but we played a lot better on defense," said MSHS junior McKinley Larson, who had a goal and an assist.
"Coach wanted us to go top-shelf with our shots, since their goalie is a smaller guy, and once we got our shots down we were OK."
Twelve Redmen had a goal or assist Thursday, including seven who collected multiple points.
Senior Forest Folker led the way with two goals and two assists, while junior Alex Zerbel had two goals and senior defenseman Shawn Cornock added three assists.
Also scoring goals for Marquette were sophomores Luke Schwemin and Brett Specker and seniors Tyler Jackson and Cam Fries.
Negaunee got both its goals on third-period power plays, the first by sophomore Ryan Syrjala off a deep rebound off an initial shot by senior Ely Goupille just as a 5-on-3 advantage was ending.
The second came when sophomore Michael Farley, stationed in front of Wiese, took a pass from behind the net from yet another sophomore, Chad Larson.
Play got a bit chippier in the third period, culminating in a five-minute major penalty on Marquette that helped set up Negaunee's second goal.
"We need a little more work on our penalty kill," L'Huillier said. "This is a great rivalry, just like Escanaba-Marquette and the Soo-Marquette, and neither team likes to lose to the other."
The Redmen needed 15 minutes to break the scoreless deadlock when Schwemin hacked at the puck during a scrum in front of Moyle that finally went in.
In the second period, Marquette bumped the advantage to 4-0 as Jackson scored on a shot over the Miner goalie's shoulder, Zerbel slapped one in on the short side while coming into the right circle, and Fries knocked one through the five-hole from the slot.
Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246.