MARQUETTE - The Marquette Junior Hockey Corporation entry needed multiple extra periods, but the City Insurance/AAA Sentinels pulled off a state championship in Dearborn on Sunday, March 16.
Sydney Higgins scored in the fourth overtime to give her 16-and-under AA team the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association U16 Tier II girls state championship.
The Sentinels advance to the USA Hockey national championship tourney in Amherst, N.Y., from April 2-6.
Team officials said they are preparing with practices that began again on Wednesday, several games set to be scheduled against other Marquette junior teams and fundraising to cover expenses for the trip.
Higgins' title-clinching goal, which was assisted by Allison Carlson, came 2:53 into the fourth 10-minute OT period of the championship game to give Marquette a 3-2 victory over Rochester, a team the Sentinels also defeated 2-0 to open tourney play on Friday afternoon.
Higgins opened the scoring just 4:01 into the game, again getting an assist from Carlson along with Emma Kaznowski.
Rochester tied the game barely a minute later and went ahead early in the second period before Carlson reknotted the score at 2-2 with a goal that was assisted by Kaznowski.
Nearly 84 minutes had to be played before Higgins decided the game and the championship, even though Marquette put an incredible 84 shots on goal. Sentinels goalie Hannah Riesland made 68 saves of her own, too.
Head coach Jeff Cornock's Sentinels were ranked No. 2 in the state entering the competition, then won all three of their round-robin games to advance to the semifinals as the top team from their division.
In the 2-0 opener against Rochester, Carlson scored both goals with an assist going to Kailey Godfrey on the first one as the team had 45 shots on goal and Riesland made 34 saves in the shutout.
Marquette then defeated St. Clair Shores 6-1 on Friday night as the Sentinels held a 44-13 shot edge, Riesland again getting the victory in net.
Carlson scored five goals, achieving her hat trick before the first period was over, with Kaznowski getting the other early in the second. Kaznowski and Sydney Cornock each had two assists, while Ally Polich, Lauryn Folker and Katie Pryor had one apiece.
On Saturday afternoon, the Sentinels registered another 6-1 victory, this time over Livonia, and held a 73-28 shots edge as Riesland got the win.
Carlson scored goals 30 seconds apart in the game's first five minutes before Kaznowski made it 3-0 a few minutes later. Godfrey, Polich and Higgins rounded out Marquette's scoring, while Freya Holferty had two assists and Carlson, Higgins, Cornock, Folker, Chloe Krause and Ashlyn Steer had one assist each.
While Rochester defeated Grand Rapids 4-3 in one semifinal, the Sentinels blitzed Livonia 9-0 to easily clinch a spot in the finals. Marquette held a 70-20 shots edge as Riesland got another shutout.
Carlson notched five goals, three coming in her team's six-goal second period, while Higgins added two and Kaznowski and Folker one apiece.
Cornock had four assists, Carlson three, Krause two and Higgins and Kirsten Iwanski one each.