Prep hockey: Top line leads Marquette to pre-regional final with 5-0 win over Kingsford

MARQUETTE – The Marquette Senior High School hockey team shut out Kingsford, 5-0, Tuesday at Lakeview Arena to advance to the MHSAA Division 2 pre-regional final game.

Marquette head coach Doug Garrow said the Redmen struggled against the Flivvers for the first five or six minutes of play with the initial goal not occurring until over 10 minutes into the first period.

“Kingsford took it to us a little bit,” Garrow said. “After that I thought our top line really set the tone for us, and everybody else kind of followed suit.”

The Redmen kicked off scoring with an unassisted goal by senior forward Alex Zerbel at 11:35 of the first. Although that was the lone goal of the period, Marquette outshot Kingsford 13-1.

“We played a pretty good first period, but in the second period Marquette turned it up,” Kingsford head coach Jim Peterson said. “They started getting time and space in the corners and showed their speed.”

In the second, the Redmen scored seven seconds after killing off a penalty on a shot by sophomore forward Tony Fedrizzi at 3:41. Senior Justin Cain and sophomore Jake Phillips were credited on the assists.

“We implemented a little bit of a new penalty kill system tonight and they really executed it well,” Garrow said.

“They sacrificed themselves, they made good plays, and our defense really stood up and didn’t allow Kingsford to gain control of the puck in our end.”

The Redmen scored a second time that period to go up 3-0 on the Flivvers, as Fedrizzi fired his second goal of the night on a feed from Cain at 8:43.

Marquette scored two more times in the third period just 33 seconds apart to seal the victory. The first goal of the third period was scored by senior forward Cam Verigin from Zerbel at 7:49.

The Redmen carried the momentum for their fifth and final goal of the night, scored by senior forward Cole Rieboldt with Cain tallying his third assist. Marquette outshot the Flivvers 34-4 but went 0-4 on the power play, while Kingsford was 0-6.

Although Peterson was happy with his team’s overall effort, he said the Flivvers needed to capitalize on their chances.

“On the power plays, we need to be able to settle it down and set it up, and we didn’t do that,” Peterson said.

While Marquette was also unable to score on the power play, it benefitted the Redmen in another way: momentum.

“I try to tell the guys, ‘When you’re on the power play you can gain momentum even if you don’t score just by getting the puck in their end and trying to tire out some of their forecheckers,'” Garrow said.

The Redmen are scheduled to play at Escanaba on Thursday in the pre-regional final after the Eskymos defeated Negaunee, 3-0, on Thursday.

“That’ll be a tough game,” Garrow said. “They’ve got some really high energy guys and some explosive guys offensively, so for us to win that game, we’re going to have to play our best.”