Back to Plymouth: Marquette Redmen hockey team scores 4 goals in 5 minutes for 5-2 win over Traverse City Central in Division 2 quarterfinals

Players from the Marquette Senior High School hockey team celebrate their MHSAA Division 2 quarterfinal victory over Traverse City Central in a game played in Gaylord on Saturday afternoon. Players identifiable from left are Ryan Baldwin (16), Joseph Luke, Brennan Hakkola(35), Jack Sides (13), Gaetano Cammarata (7) and Evan Kroll (9). (Traverse City Record-Eagle photo by Andrew Rosenthal)

“I think this team’s a little different…. We’re going down there with the expectation that we can win the whole thing.” — Doug Garrow, head coach, Marquette Senior High School hockey


GAYLORD — Marquette is returning to Plymouth with a different attitude.

A four-goal second period was enough to lead Marquette over Traverse City Central 5-2 on Saturday afternoon at the Otsego County Sportsplex in Gaylord and a return to the MHSAA Division 2 state semifinals.

Redmen head coach Doug Garrow thought last year his team was just satisfied with getting to point where they’re at now.

“I think this team’s a little different,” Garrow said after the win. “I think they want to make it further and they want to prove (Upper Peninsula) teams are pretty good.

“We’re going down there with the expectation that we can win the whole thing.”

The Redmen (24-4) return to the Division 2 “frozen four” for the second year in a row looking for revenge after a 4-0 loss to Trenton in the 2019 semifinals.

“It’s what we’ve been working for the whole year,” MSHS senior Gaetano Cammarata said. “This year I think we have more depth. We have four solid lines, all of them can put the puck in the net. Last year we got stopped by a good goalie. This year we’re going to try and get some goals past him.”

TC Central sophomore Grant Neuhardt was certainly one of those goalies in the first period of this quarterfinal matchup.

Marquette put up just seven shots as Central commanded the puck in their own zone most of the period. The Trojans had no issues trying to set up their shots, getting 14 but failing to score.

“Got to that first intermission and sure thought that we’re going to be in a tight one right to the end,” TC Central coach Chris Givens said.

On one chance, all five Redmen crashed the net as Neuhardt saved it with his pad.

“Traverse City took it to us in the first period, they really outplayed us,” Garrow said. “They came at us, maybe we weren’t expecting that.

“We just said, ‘Hey, you’re gonna have to earn this victory tonight.’ Every team from here on out, it’s going to be a good game and nothing’s going to be given to you.”

Jakob Peterson gave the puck some air for the Redmen, and Neuhardt didn’t get to the other end of the crease in time. Peterson hit the top shelf to score 4:48 into the second period.

It was the start of a stretch where Marquette scored four goals in just over five minutes.

The Trojans’ Owen Dawson went to the box for slashing and Marquette’s Jacob Garrow scored the subsequent power play goal with 10:03 still left on the second-period clock.

Cammarata scored unassisted less than two minutes later, while teammate Ethan Phillips found the back of the net through the five-hole a minute into another Marquette power play to build the 4-0 lead.

“I thought we just took a couple dumb penalties,” TC Central senior Charlie Douglass said. “They got in our heads a little bit after they scored the first one. Hockey’s a game of momentum, and they took it from us pretty quick.”

But the Trojans also grabbed it back quickly. TCC’s Nathan Webber took a pass off the following faceoff and scored 20 seconds after Phillips’ goal.

Douglass pulled the Trojans within two just after Marquette’s Evan Kroll returned to the ice for a tripping call to make it 4-2. Kroll raced toward Douglass to break up the shot, but it was too late.

“(After the fourth goal) I thought that’s when we buckled down,” Douglass said. “It’s a shame it couldn’t have come earlier because we could’ve really turned the game around.”

Central continued to return to the penalty box not long after Douglass’ goal.

Phillips scored his second goal of the day and second on the power play with 6:59 to go in the game and Central couldn’t get back on the board with an empty net in the final two minutes of play.

The Trojans finish their season 22-4-2 with a Big North Conference crown, avenging a first-round loss to Petoskey in 2019 with a regional title and a state quarterfinal appearance.

Marquette scored on three of its six power play opportunities.

“I think if we stay out of penalty trouble, maybe it’s a different game down the stretch,” Givens said. “I’m certainly proud of these guys and how they handled everything this year.”

Calumet mercied Gaylord 11-1 in Marquette Saturday, with both U.P. teams primed for a run at the title.

Cammarata knows how special it’d be if both teams win it. The last time Calumet earned the finals title, 2008, was the last time Marquette won as well.

“That would be cool if we could both do that again,” Cammarata said.

Doug Garrow feels the same way.

“We’re representing not only the city of Marquette, but the whole U.P.,” Garrow said. “I think they want to prove that they can win it.”


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