Marquette Mutineers adult hockey team looks for strong finish to regular season

MARQUETTE — Entering their final series of the regular season, the Marquette Mutineers look to climb the Great Lakes Hockey League standings this weekend, hosting one of the league’s top opponents the Mosinee, Wisconsin, Papermakers.

Puck drop between the teams will be at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at Northern Michigan University’s Berry Events Center.

Marquette (13-11) sits fifth in the GLHL with 26 points, just one behind Portage Lake.

The Papermakers (18-4-1-1) enter the weekend second in the conference with 38 points.

Marquette player and co-coach Joey Enright said the weekend sets up a great opportunity for his team to possibly work their way up the standings.

“We’re playing more as a team and getting shots on goal,” Enright said. “The biggest thing is we’re playing better defense going into this weekend and we can move up to a beneficial spot in the standings if we continue playing well.”

Mutineers forward Dallas McLaughlin enters the series at the league’s leader in both goals with 49 and points with 71. No. 2 scorer Russell Johnson of West Bend, Wisconsin, has 56 points.

Enright said it will be crucial for McLaughlin and the Mutineer offense to keep possession in Mosinee’s zone and put pressure on goaltenders Anthony Lashua and Jake Michalski.

“Their goalies are a little weaker,” Enright said. “We want to get shots and traffic to the net.

“They’re very good on offense and defense and do just about everything right, but if we can jump on their goalies early and get a lead, it’s going to be a lot easier on us.”

Lashua has seen the majority of the time between the pipes for the Papermakers, racking up a 3.41 goals-against average, while Michalski’s GAA is 4.36.

But the Papermakers offense has seven skaters with double-digit goals.

“They have a lot of guys who are five- or six-year veterans and have been playing together for a long time,” Enright said. “They have a lot of higher skill. A lot of them are former (NCAA) Division I college players and junior players. They’re a high quality group with chemistry, so they know what to do.”

The Mutineers split a two-game series with the Papermakers back in late November, but since then, the Mutineers have been dealt a series of injuries over the last month that have taken three crucial players from the lineup.

Marquette’s roster was already thin heading into the season, only skating with 24 players while the league allows 30 per team.

“It’s been quite a plague,” Enright said of his team’s injuries. “We’ll fill the roster out a little more next season, because we’ve struggled a little with everyone going down.”

Despite the injuries, the Mutineers have won three of their last four games, which Enright said gives them reason to believe they can continue their recent success and finish the regular season on a strong note heading into the postseason.

“The confidence is very high,” Enright said. “Guys who didn’t get ice time at the beginning of the year have picked it up. Everyone playing for us is just as capable of playing high quality games as anybody else.”

Admission is $5 per person, with children 12 years and younger admitted free with an adult.

More information on the team is available at the website theglhl.com.

Ray Bressette can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is rbressette@miningjournal.net.