MARQUETTE - After tying 2-2 in the cumulative-goal series opener on Dec. 19, Marquette Senior High School outscored the Marquette Electricians Midget AAA hockey team 5-3 on Thursday to win the Olson Family Cup 7-5 at Lakeview Arena in Marquette.
The Redmen, who have rebounded from an 0-5-1 start to improve to 7-8-4 this season, scored three goals in the second period on Thursday to break open the series and beat their under-18 counterparts.
"It's big and it's a win," MSHS head coach Doug Garrow said. "I wouldn't say it's overly huge. But for us, it just verifies all the hard work we're doing is starting to pay off.
Marquette Senior High School senior forward Alex Zerbel, left, jumps into the arms of MSHS junior defenseman Brett Specker after the Redmen put a power play goal past Marquette Electricians Midget AAA goaltender Brendan Higbie (35) in the second period on Thursday at?Lakeview Arena in Marquette. (Journal photo by Matt?Wellens)
"Success breeds more success and that's what they're seeing. They have more confidence and I think going forward, that's going to help us down the stretch and into the playoff run."
Two of MSHS's three second period goals and three of the five total goals on Thursday came on the power play.
MSHS sophomore forward Jake Phillips tied the series 3-3 at 8:51 of the first period with an assist by junior forward Luke Schwemin on the power play.
The Redmen took the lead 4-3 on an even-strength goal by Scott Frazier and an assist by junior forward Brock Smith 4:30 into the second period.
Then the penalties problems began for the Electricians.
"I think tonight it came down to a couple penalties that we took put us behind the 8-ball and gave us the disadvantage," Electricians coach Jim Jackson said. "We took a couple bad penalties and I think that swung the momentum their way. It got them a couple goals that pretty much led to their success."
A penalty for too many men on the ice at 5:58, followed by a two-minute contact to the head call and a 10-minute misconduct against Electros goaltender Brendan Higbie, led to a 5-on-3 power play goal by MSHS junior defenseman Brett Specker.
Assists went to senior forward Alex Zerbel and senior center Cam Verigin at 7:01 of the second.
Just 35 seconds later, MSHS went up 6-3 in the series with a power play goal from Verigin, assisted by Frazier.
"We're moving the puck much better than we did earlier in the year," Garrow said about the power play. "We're moving the puck instead of trying to move the feet and carry it.
"We're trying to move at a higher tempo. That higher tempo puts teams on their heels a little bit. When you do that, you usually have success."
The Electricians took a 3-2 lead in the series 3:17 into the first period with a goal by Jake Peterson and an assist to Mitch Kazmierczak.
The Electros then cut the MSHS margin back to two goals twice with another score by Peterson at 16:15 of the second period that was assisted by Tristan Ashbrook and Kristian Jackson.
Following an unassisted goal by Schwemin for MSHS at the 9:50 mark of the third, Seth Muzyl put away a rebound for the Electros, with an assist by Alex Warchol at 11:33 of the third.
In the end, the Electricians just couldn't get enough pucks on the MSHS net and were outshot 23-19 on Thursday.
"We had some strange bounces out there, for sure," Jackson said. "We were trying to get pucks to the net and it seemed like more pucks were jumping more than others. We missed some breaks, but then again, I thought our guys did stick to the game plan. Some of those penalties just took control of the game."
All three Electricians goals were even strength after Marquette took and killed off its one penalty of the night - a tripping call against Smith at 14:02 of the second.
MSHS, which was coming off a 7-0 win over Kingsford at home Wednesday, finished 3 for 4 on the power play and got 16 saves from junior goaltender John Beckman.
Higbie finished with 18 saves for the Electricians, who had won the previous two one-game Olson Family Cup battles over the past two seasons.