IRON MOUNTAIN - Some lineup shuffling paid dividends for Marquette Senior High School Hockey team, as the Redmen skated to a 2-0 Great Lakes Hockey victory over Kingsford in the home finale for the Flivvers in Iron Mountain on Monday evening.
"We made some big moves," Marquette coach Mike L'Huillier said, mentioning he moved some forwards back to defense and brought some defensemen up to be forwards.
"It made a world of difference. We were clearing the puck so much quicker. We made so many tape-to-tape passes.
Kingsford’s Reid Pietila and Marquette’s Forest Folker chase the puck during the third period Monday night at Mountain View Ice Arena in Iron Mountain. (The Daily News photo by Ron Deuter)
"(Kingsford) never really had a lot of opportunities to score. They couldn't really generate any offense because they got one shot and then we cleared the puck right away."
Two rebound goals provided the Redmen with all the offense they needed. Evan Kyle earned the shutout in net with 16 saves.
Tyler Jackson stuffed in the first Marquette tally, at 6:47 of the second.
Jared Swajanen, with the Redmen on a two-man advantage, swept in another rebound for a score at 5:41 of the third.
"We knew they were going to come out flying," Kingsford coach Jim Peterson said. "I think we played, defensively, a pretty good game. They didn't have a lot of sustained pressure in our zone."
Conor Berndt suffered the loss, despite 25 stops.
"He played a great game," Peterson said. "Made some nice saves. We played a decent game. I wasn't real unhappy with it. We had some chances."
The Flivvers hit the pipe on a second-period power play. Another puck that made it through was waived off.
"We're not getting the breaks," Peterson said. "We need to get some of those breaks. They're momentum changers.
"I was a lot happier with our defensive play. We just need to put the puck in the net."
Marquette improved to 5-17, and will host the Flivvers on Tuesday, Feb. 26, in a playoff opener.
"We just held on," L'Huillier said. "We just played good defense. We had good goaltending and we finally got a victory."
NEGAUNEE - Escanaba showed why it has been one of the best high school hockey teams in the Upper Peninsula this season with an 8-0 victory at Negaunee on Monday night.
The game was called due to the eight-goal rule 26 seconds into the third period when Charlie Zuidema scored on a power play.
"They've got some kids who are really good players," Miners coach Eric Hill said. "They move the puck well and have good chemistry. They're playing good hockey right now."
He added that it will be a challenge for Negaunee (4-19) when these two teams meet again at 7 p.m. next Tuesday in Negaunee to open the MHSAA Division 2 preregionals.
The Eskymos outshot Negaunee, 39-5, as Miners goalie Tyler Riutta made 31 saves, including 18 in the second period.