Prep hockey: Marquette charges back to bump record over .500

MARQUETTE – Marquette spotted visiting Calumet an early goal, then roared back for three scores by the end of the opening period en route to a 5-1 victory to end the regular season on Saturday.

With the win in a game originally scheduled for Thursday, the Redmen climbed over the .500 mark both overall at 11-10-4 and in the Great Lakes Hockey Conference at 5-4-3. Calumet ends its regular season at 6-18-1 and 4-8.

“I’m very happy to get back to having a winning record,” MSHS coach Doug Garrow said. “Especially considering we started the season 0-5-1, since we’ve been 11-5-3 since.”

Marquette junior Brett Specker scored a goal and assisted on two others while senior teammate Cam Verigin recorded a three-assist playmaker. In addition, seniors Justin Cain and Alex Zerbel each had a goal and an assist.

But Calumet got on the scoreboard first just 3:45 into the game on a goal by Robert Erkkila that wasa assisted by Ryan Nelson and Jacob Anderson.

Cain tied the score about 2 1/2 minutes later while Zerbel gave the Redmen the lead for good three minutes after that. Senior teammate Dalton Duquette made it 3-1 by the end of the period even though the Redmen were outshot 7-6 in the opening 17 minutes.

Marquette could’ve blown the game wide open in the second period, but failed to get a puck past Copper Kings goalie Tyler Hubbard despite having five power plays and netting 14 shots on goal.

“When you’re on the power play and you can generate a lot of offense, it can carry over to your 5-on-5 play,” Garrow said. “Plus, a lot of times when you’re shorthanded you have your best players out on the ice all the time, and that can sap you.”

The men-advantages might have paid off by the middle of the third period when Marquette scored goals 18 seconds apart by Specker and junior Luke Schwemin for the final margin.

Hubbard finished with 24 saves while MSHS sophomore netminder Travis Cameron was called on for only 11 stops, including just one in the third.

Both teams open MHSAA regional play at home at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Marquette hosts Kingsford in a Division 2 opener at Lakeview Arena, then would hit the road for any remaining tournament games, while Calumet faces Hancock in a Division 3 regional it is hosting.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Steve Brownlee. His email address is