Moyle, Cole lead Redmen to OT victory
HOUGHTON – The Houghton Gremlins hockey team celebrated Senior Night Thursday by playing host to a perennially tough Marquette Senior High School team.
Despite the return of assistant captain Chad Dunstan to the lineup, Houghton managed just a single goal in the Redmen’s 2-1 triumph at Dee Stadium.
The Gremlins’ old nemesis, stick penalties, dragged the down in the late stages of the contest.
“I loved how we started the game,” Gremlins coach Corey Markham said. “I thought we had a real strong first period. We emphasized getting a good start. I thought we accomplished that…. Penalties just really hamstrung us.”
The Gremlins were whistled for 20 minutes of penalties, 14 that involved use of the stick in hooking, slashing, tripping, high-sticking and cross-checking calls.
Redmen coach Doug Garrow moved captain Jake Phillips to forward early in the season when his team trailed in Calumet. Since then, Phillips has blossomed offensively while the Redmen defensive corps have learned not to wait around for their captain to lead them.
“I moved Jake up to forward I think (in) our fifth game of the year,” Garrow said. “Ever since then, we’ve scored (about) 85 goals and only given up 30 since then. I was worried early on about who I had back on the blue line.
“The guys have really taken it upon themselves to be that person. I thought all six of them have done a nice job all year making plays.”
Redmen blueliners accounted for both their goals.
The first tied it 1-1 with about four minutes to go in the second period. After a series of penalties gave the Redmen nearly two full minutes of a 5-on-3 power play, Justin Moyle scored on a subsequent 4-on-4. He took a pass at the left point from Phillips and unleashed a shot that sailed over Gremlins goaltender Will Stier’s glove.
The second Redmen tally, which proved to be the game winner, came with less than six minutes remaining. The puck came back to Ben Cole at the right point, and he fired a shot that hit the post to Stier’s left and bounced in.
The Gremlins came out fast and aggressive in the game’s opening minutes, forcing the Redmen to ice the puck or launch it into the crowd to slow things down.
“Dee Stadium is a tough place to play,” Garrow said. “I think Houghton has a real nice home-ice advantage…. After the first five to six minutes of the first period, I thought we adapted to the physical play and the speed a little better.”
The best chance for either team in the first period came off the stick of Gremlins junior Jacob Kruse, who flew around a Redmen defender, skated in alone on Marquette goalie Travis Cameron, and beat him with the shot. But the puck clanged off the post to Cameron’s left with 5:59 remaining.
In the second, the Gremlins killed off a Redmen power play before going to work on offense. Kruse misfired on a quick pass across the slot just 1:22 in. Co-captain Reid Pietila picked up the loose puck, skated back out front with it and fired a shot that hit assistant captain Wyatt Liston in the high crease.
Nearly eight minutes into the period, Pietila again skated in the Redmen zone quickly and wired home a shot to break the scoreless deadlock from the high slot.
In the ensuing five minutes before Marquette tied the game, Stier was kept on his toes as Redmen Anthony Fedrizzi, Tanner Carriere, Donny Schultz, Phillips and Luke Beerman all fired shots that Stier stopped.