MARQUETTE - Goals have been hard to come by all season long for the Marquette Senior High School hockey team and Thursday night was no exception.
With team leading scorer Forest Folker sidelined with a disc problem in his back, the Redmen lost a 4-2 decision to the Kingsford Flivvers at Lakeview Arena.
MSHS outshot the Flivvers 30-21, but Kingsford capitalized on its better scoring chances to improve to 4-6 on the season.
Marquette’s Mac Larson reaches out to gain possession of the puck from Kingsford’s Kyle Carson during the first period at Lakeview Arena on Thursday. (Journal photo by Matt Keiser)
"You can't score just 1-2 goals a game (to win) and that's what's happening to us now," MSHS head coach Mike L'Huillier said.
Kingsford's Ted Pietila scored three goals - all in the second period - and assisted on younger brother Reid's empty-net goal that sealed the win.
It's believed to be the first time in 17-18 years of play the Flivvers have beaten the Redmen at Lakeview.
"It feels good," Ted Pietila said. "We said this was the year we were going to get the monkey off our backs."
He added it's the second time this season he has notched the hat trick. But he couldn't remember the last time he scored three or more goals in a single period.
"That was the guy we were supposed to watch," L'Huillier said. "He's a good player, big, smart with the puck and with a great shot.
"We tried to take him out of his game, but ... when he gets a shot, he doesn't miss."
All three of Pietila's goals came off MSHS defensive lapses, with the first and second markers scored off Redmen turnovers.
"He's strong on his skates and can shoot," Kingsford head coach Jim Peterson said. "He's just a great player."
The Redmen (2-9), after Scott Frazier made a nifty move to skate in on Flivvers goaltender Wes Paupore late in the first period, only to be denied, got an unassisted goal from Luke Schwemin in the second.
He fired a shot from the corner that hit Paupore's pads and went just inside the post. Paupore, who celebrated his birthday Thursday, made 28 saves.
McKinley Larson gave the Redmen hope for a comeback with an unassisted tally at 11:32 of the third period off a scramble in front of the Kingsford net, but it wasn't enough.
"We got the puck out of our zone well tonight and forechecked (Marquette) early," Peterson said.
"We also moved the puck well on the power play and were just quicker."
L'Huillier said his team is improving in its transition game and clearing the defensive zone better.
"We also forechecked with some urgency, but we made mistakes and the Flivvers capitalized," he said. "Once we start winning some games, though, we'll gain some confidence."
MSHS goaltender Evan Kyle made 15 stops.
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251.