Hockey: Marquette blanks Flivvers 6-0, advances to regional final

Kingsford’s Colin Watkins, right, shoots during the third period against a MHSAA Division 2 Region 9 semifinal against Marquette on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, in Iron Mountain, Mich. (Adam Niemi/Iron Mountain Daily News)

IRON MOUNTAIN — Marquette’s offense finally broke through in the second period en route to a 6-0 win over Kingsford in a MHSAA Division 2 regional semifinal Tuesday.

The Redmen (19-5-2) scored a pair of goals 1:14 apart in the second period and never looked back. The win was Marquette head coach Doug Garrow’s and assistant coach Ron Gray’s 100th since taking over in the 2013-14 season.

Marquette hosts Escanaba for the Region 9 title on Thursday. The Eskymos blanked Negaunee 7-0 in the other semifinal.

“I’ve been lucky, fortunate to have a lot of good players, a lot of good staff, a lot of people who worked to get this program to where it was before me,” Garrow said. “All the other coaches that came before me. I’m just carrying on the torch. To get 100 wins, it’s great. It makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something and all the hard work has paid off for the coaches and the players. It’s just nice, it feels good to me. “

Four more wins this season would mean a state championship for the Redmen.

“I’ll be ready to celebrate after I get four more,” Garrow said. “I want 104 at the end of the year, then we’ll be ready to let loose.”

Both teams skated to a first period stalemate, but not without either team having chances. Marquette rattled the post a few times and Kingsford won a faceoff with two seconds left and got off a shot by Eamonn Weed that was stopped by Marquette goalie Tyler Bergwall, who didn’t seem sure he had stopped it as he looked behind for a loose puck.

“First period we played decent. I thought 0-0 we were in good shape,” Kingsford head coach Greg Wadge said. “They got two quick goals in the second and we kind of folded after that. Defensively we didn’t play very well. We didn’t get a lot of shots. We talked before the game about getting pucks in deep and shots going to the net. We just didn’t end up doing it.”

Gaetanno Cammarata scored the first goal about 10 minutes into the second period on a 2-on-2 with linemate Ansel Frost. Frost carried the puck into the zone on the left wing and cut across to the right, then passed over to Cammarata whose initial shot was stopped by Kingsford goalie Evan Hedtke. The rebound fluttered out to the top of the crease and Cammarata, carrying too much speed to get a forehand shot, spun around and scored off a backhand while falling to a knee.

“It was right in front of our bench that Gaetanno was yelling to switch, switch lanes,” Garrow said. “When he switched lanes there I think it kind of confused the D a little bit and they went to the net, put a shot on net and Gaetanno just got a rebound. Those are two of my smaller forwards, but they have a tendency to find the puck. Sometimes those small forwards can find pucks and they found pucks. They’re puck hounds.”

The Flivvers (9-14) edged Marquette with an overtime victory in last year’s playoffs. They were unable to recapture the late-game rally magic that helped Kingsford to a state quarterfinals appearance last year, winning two overtime games and a third by a late third period goal.

On Tuesday, Kingsford’s quality scoring chances waned away as the game progressed, despite putting a game-high seven shots on net in the third. Marquette out-shot Kingsford 41-17.

“In the defensive zone we were looking to get our wingers up high to chip it out and protect the seam,” Wadge said. “The shots in the first period were 12-5 so I was pretty happy with the first period. But it went downhill quickly after those first two goals.”

Playing the puck deep in the offensive zone is always a key for Marquette. With Kingsford getting tired, the Redmen kept up their energy to rattle off four more goals in the third to bury the game. Marquette celebrated in the locker room with cupcakes and chocolate milk.

“That’s what we try to do is we want to play down below the goal line as much as we can and keep pucks deep,” Garrow said. “Obviously the further away from your net you are the better. That was our motive all along was to get pucks deep and play down low all night long against their defensemen and hopefully by the end of the game we’ll tire them out. I think that’s what happened.”

Kingsford’s four penalties put a further strain on matching Marquette’s speed.

“Penalties hurt. We talked before the game about staying out of the box,” Wadge said. “Last time we played them they had three power-play goals. It just screws up the rotation with the kids and the lines. That turns into a mess when you got guys in the box for sure.”

Marquette 0 2 4 — 6

Kingsford 0 0 0 — 0

First Period — No scoring. Penalties — Phillips, KHS, (hooking), 12:48. Kroll, MHS, (holding), 16:49.

Second Period — 1, Marquette, Cammarata (Frost, O’Connor), 10:25. 2, Marquette, Phillips (Leafers), 11:39. Penalties — Kroll, MHS, (hooking), 12:36. Fox, KHS, (slashing), 17:00.

Third Period — 3, Marquette, Frost (Cammarata, O’Connor), pp, 1:56. 4, Marquette, Dunleavy (Leafers, Baldwin), 3:25. 5, Marquette, Frost (Cammarata), 9:24. 6, Marquette, Phillips (O’Connor), 15:21. Penalties — Baldwin, MHS, (holding), 13:09; O’Connor, MHS, (unsportsmanlike), 13:09. Juul, KHS, (slashing), 16:34; Langston, KHS, (roughing), 16:34. Nemetz, MHS, (roughing), 16:54.

Shots on Goal — Marquette 12-17-12–41; Kingsford 5-5-7–17

Power-play Opportunities — Marquette 1 of 4; Kingsford 0 of 4.

Goalies — Marquette, Bergwall (17 shots-17 saves). Kingsford, Hedtke (41-35).

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