MARQUETTE - Spencer DenBeste scored three goals to power the Marquette American Legion Bantam AA hockey team to the Northern International Hockey League playoff championship Sunday in Sault Ste. Marie.
The Legion beat Mackinaw City, 5-4, in the title game.
Tristan Ashbrook and Brendan Campbell added single tallies for Marquette (32-24-8).
The Marquette American Legion Bantam AA hockey team captured the NIHL playoffs with a 5-4 win over Mackinaw City in the championship game Sunday in Sault Ste. Marie. Members of the Legion squad are, front row from left, Jack Eyler, Travis Cameron, Donny Schultz, Kristian Jackson, Tristan Ashbrook, Kyle Lane, Ryan Morrissey, Chris LeMire, Spencer DenBeste and Aydin Frost. Top row from left, Ben Cole, Justin Hendrickson, Brendan Campbell, Shane Ring, Caden Paquette, Justin Moyle, Nick Bink, Joey Phillips and Hunter Doucette. Not pictured in Alister Henderson.
Earning assists were Chris LeMire (3), Nick Bink (3), Donny Schultz, Ben Cole, Hunter Doucette and Shane Ring.
Legion netminder Travis Cameron came up with 28 saves.
"In the last four weeks, we've won 11 of 12 games, including clinching the league championship, District 8 championship and the league playoffs," Legion head coach Brian Nebel said.
"Things are coming together at the right time."
In an earlier game, Marquette beat Calumet, 4-1, behind goals by DenBeste, Ashbrook, LeMire (shorthanded) and Bink.
Picking up helpers were Campbell, Bink (3), Joey Phillips, Schultz, DenBeste and Ashbrook.
Cameron made 23 saves.
On Saturday, the Legion blanked the Soo, 4-0, as Jack Eyler turned aside 18 shots on goal for Marquette.
Finding the back of the net for the Legion was Phillips, Ring, Schultz and Bink. Gaining helpers were Ashbrook, Schultz, Alister Henderson, DenBeste (2), Justin Hendrickson and LeMire.
On Friday, Marquette opened the tournament with a 4-3 loss to Mackinaw City, despite two power play goals by DenBeste. Ashbrook tallied the other marker.
Phillips, Schultz, Kyle Lane, Bink and LeMire recorded helpers.
Cameron came up with 19 stops for Legion.
City Insurance second
The Marquette City Insurance Pee Wee AA hockey team finished second in the NIHL tournament in Sault Ste. Marie on Sunday.
The Sentinels lost to Alpena in the championship game, 4-1, despite attempting 67 shots. Of those, 27 were blocked and netminder Cooper Black made 39 saves for Alpena, according to Sentinels spokesman Eric Bordson.
Luke Beerman scored the lone City Insurance goal, assisted by Nate Bordson and Alec Beauchamp.
Dylan Sibilsky made 10 saves in net for the Sentinels.
Marquette (43-19-2) made it to the title game with victories over Alpena (8-1), Mackinaw City (7-3) and Calumet (6-1).
In those games, Beerman had nine goals and two assists, Bordson six goals and six assists, and Daunte Fortner six goals.
Collecting assists in those games were Nick Leafers (4), Tanner Phillips (4), Reece Fortner (3), Beauchamp (2), Chris Sliva (2), Carter Peterson, Ethan Jones and Ted Hoenke.
Sibilsky turned aside 56 shots on goal in the three games.
Wells Fargo girls split
In Cheboygan against the Traverse City Stars, the Marquette Wells Fargo U14 girls split a series, losing the first game 5-0 and winning the second, 2-1.
Briana Holman made 38 saves in goal in the two contests for Wells Fargo.
Kara Salo and Lexi White scored for Marquette, with Chantel LaBlonde and Julia Johnson gaining assists.