Special teams lift Redmen icers to win Saturday at MPHS Showcase

CHELSEA — Special teams were exactly that as the Marquette Senior High School hockey team extended its unbeaten streak to 15 games with an 8-1 victory over Birmingham Unified on Saturday.

The Redmen scored just two goals at even strength, but converted on four of nine power plays to go with two more shorthanded goals.

Marquette improved to 16-3-2 after playing three games in three days at the Michigan Public High School Hockey Showcase in Chelsea. On Thursday, MSHS lost 4-3 in a shootout to Plymouth Salem in a game without an overtime period that counts as a tie, while on Friday, the Redmen defeated Davison 5-3.

“This was a very successful weekend,” Marquette head coach Doug Garrow said. “It was a great weekend to go down there; we represented ourselves well and got our name out there with the downstate schools.”

On Saturday, senior forward Sean O’Connor had two of Marquette’s power play goals as he finished with a three-goal hat trick, scoring the game-winner late in the opening period with a man advantage before adding a pair of tallies barely 3 1/2 minutes apart in the first half of the third period.

“He had a great game with three goals and an assist,” Garrow said of O’Connor. “He’s the catalyst for his line; he brings a lot of energy to the ice.

“He plays with a bit of an edge, but he has to play that way for him to be effective.”

Birmingham actually opened the scoring with a little under seven minutes left in the first period when Andrew Beggs scored unassisted in a shorthanded situation.

MSHS’ Andrew Fedrizzi needed less than 3 1/2 minutes to tie it up with a power-play goal that was assisted by fellow junior defenseman Jakob Peterson for the first of his four points in the game.

O’Connor made it 2-1 Marquette with 1:54 left in the opening period as senior forward Kobie Guidebeck got his first of two assists on the power play.

The Redmen needed a bit of time to get going in the second period, but once they did they put the game away with three goals in barely more than three minutes.

Sophomore defenseman Evan Kroll started the scoring spree with a shorthanded tally with 3:34 left in the period on an assist from junior forward Hogan Nemetz.

Just 1:10 later, sophomore forward Ansel Frost got his own “shortie,” assisted by O’Connor, before junior forward Ansel Frost made it 5-1 at even strength with 26 seconds left in the period with helpers going to Peterson and junior forward Jake Allard-Soucey.

O’Connor completed his hat trick in the first eight minutes of the third period to make it 7-1, assists going to Frost, Peterson and junior forward Gaetanno Cammarata.

And Peterson wrapped up the scoring with 6:03 left on a final power play tally assisted by Guidebeck and Cammarata.

“Anytime you can get four power play goals, you’re going to win a lot of hockey games,” Garrow said.

Senior Tyler Bergwall worked in the Redmen net, though saves numbers weren’t kept.

Marquette has a pair of games this week, hosting Hancock at 7 p.m. Tuesday before traveling to Houghton at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.