5-goal period by Houghton ends Marquette Redmen hockey team’s 16-game unbeaten streak

Marquette’s Ansel Frost, center, blocks a shot by Houghton’s Kevin Bostwick during the first period Thursday at Dee Stadium in Houghton. (Houghton Daily Mining Gazette photo by Daver Karnosky)

HOUGHTON — In the game’s opening minutes, Marquette Senior High School hockey coach Doug Garrow had plenty to be happy about Thursday at the Dee Stadium.

His team flew out of the gates, earned a power play and scored barely 2 1/2 minutes into the game on a shot by Thomas Dunleavy.

It was the type of start that had helped the Redmen go unbeaten in their last 16 games.

Not long after, the bottom fell out for Marquette as the streak came to a screeching halt.

Houghton scored five goals in an extended second period to turn a 1-1 game into a 6-1 blowout.

Garrow loved his team’s start, but not how they played after getting the early lead as the Gremlins started to use physical play to their advantage.

“You can’t make mistakes against good teams because they are going to put it in your net,” Garrow said. “That’s what happened tonight.”

The Gremlins (17-5-1 overall, 9-2-0 Great Lakes Hockey Conference) worked hard to turn the tide when they were able to even things at 1-1 after Nathan Erva poked a rebound past Redmen goaltender Brennen Hakkola with about 2 1/2 minutes to go in the first period.

The goal was the result of an aggressive forecheck where Seth Francois picked up the puck in the corner to Hakkola’s left and drove hard to the net. Hakkola stopped the first shot from Francois and the second attempt by assistant captain P.J. Donnelly, but not the third from Erva that snuck through.

“As the period wore on, we gained more confidence and got pucks deep,” Gremlins coach Corey Markham said. “We got the goal to tie it … and that seemed to get us going.

“That led into the second period and we were just dynamite in the second period. Our forecheck was tremendous.”

The Gremlins kept the pressure on and with 50 seconds left in the first period, Donnelly collided with a defensemen for the Redmen (17-4-2 overall, 6-4-0 GLHC) along the boards, knocking a plexiglass panel out.

The teams took their intermission early as the glass was repaired.

Brendan Erickson gave the Gremlins the lead on the power play during the extra time.

From there, the Gremlins were off to the races with goals by Carson Stevens on a delayed penalty call and goals by Jiseung Choi, Brad Gauthier and Dane Johnson.

The third period went scoreless as Garrow liked the way his team finished, though lamenting the lack of effort in the middle frame.

“I thought we had a good first and a good third,” he said. “We just didn’t have a response for them in the second period. I thought, once they got a couple of goals on us, our guys started watching too much.”