Junior hockey: Marquette Royales lose second straight at nationals after again scoring first goal

SIMSBURY, Conn. – The Marquette Royales were unable to hold onto a pair of early leads and lost to the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs 8-2 Friday evening at the USA Hockey Tier III Junior National Championships.

This marked the second loss in two games for the Royales, who are eliminated from advancing out of pool play, since only the winning team from each four-team pool plus one wild card advances to Sunday’s semifinals.

Marquette (42-12) completes pool play at 7 p.m. today against the Boston Junior Bruins, who have won their games 5-3 against New Hampshire on Thursday and 6-0 over the Helena, Mont., Bighorns on Friday. Helena downed Marquette 6-2 Thursday.

Today’s other game in the pool is between New Hampshire and Helena, with the winner to get its second win and finish ahead of Marquette.

As they did Thursday, the Royales scored first Friday when former Marquette Electricians player Dallas McLaughlin notched his 70th goal, on the power play, with assists going to Blake Jorenby and Lane King just 2:43 into the game.

The assist was King’s 106th of the season along with his 135th point.

New Hampshire tied the score 63 seconds later on a goal by Ryan Gandy, but Marquette’s Jeff Salzbrunn answered with his 19th this season with 4:38 to go in the opening period. Assists were credited to Tyler Thompson and McLaughlin, giving him 121 points this year.

The Junior Monarchs retied it not quite 5 1/2 minutes into the second period on the first of two goals by Cam Owens, then took the lead for good with 5:58 left in the middle stanza on an unassisted goal by Jacob Donahue.

Shawn Nelson and CJ Valerian tacked on goals down the stretch to make it 5-2 after two. Owens, Cameron Spicer and Matthew Holtshouser scored in the third to make it seven unanswered goals for NH.

Royales netminder Walker Enstad was peppered with 71 shots as he made 63 saves. Period-by-period breakdowns weren’t available. Marquette took 35 shots as NH goaltender Jake Theut made 33 stops.

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