MARSHALL - Through its first four games this season, the Marshall boys hockey team has made a living toward the net.
Averaging 7.75 goals per game, the Tigers have succeeded by crashing the net, putting pressure in the slot and piling up goals.
In the early part of Thursday's non-conference game with New Ulm, Marshall's offense struck early to take a 1-0 lead.
Marshall vs. New Ulm
Trailing 1-0, the Eagles' defense woke up, and never gave Marshall an inch of room to work in the offensive zone.
New Ulm scored three goals in the first period, taking down the Tigers 5-2 at the Lyon County Ice Arena.
"We knew they were going to be good," Marshall forward CJ Haukom said. "We had to get good quality shots and out-hustle and out-work them, and they did a good job attacking the net."
Photo by Joe Brown
Marshall’s Bryce Peterson takes the puck through the neutral zone in the first period of Thursday’s non-conference game against New Ulm at the Lyon County Ice Arena. The Tigers fell to the Eagles 5-2. For more photos, go to cu.marshallindependent.com.
With the loss against its section foe, Marshall falls to 3-2 this season. New Ulm, a state qualifier from last year, remains undefeated, moving to 3-0-1.
Playing against the benchmark team of Section 3A, the Tigers were elated to jump ahead 1-0 early in the first period after Haukom punched in a rebound for a power-play goal. Bryce Peterson and Beau Mikel got the assists on the play.
"We passed it up to the point and we got a nice shot," Haukom said. "I was in the slot and I shot it, and I think it deflected off somebody and went in."
|New Ulm||3 0 2—5|
|Marshall||1 0 1—2|
|M-CJ Haukom (Bryce Peterson, Beau Mikel), 13:59 (PP) (1)|
|NU-Aaron Pfaff (Kaleb Juntenen, Adam Loose), 13:18 (PP) (1)|
|NU-Jeff Banal (Dylan Schreckenberg, Zach Hoffmann), 4:13 (2)|
|NU-Brody Peterson (Loose), 2:46 (3)|
|NU-Drew Pfaff (Tyler Traulich, Brent Schiller), 15:37 (4)|
|NU-Schreckenberg (Jeff Banal, A. Pfaff), 1:21 (5)|
|M-Peterson (Evan VanderZiel, Brian Willett), 0:08 (2)|
|Shots on Goal: NU-31; M-25.|
|Goaltending: NU-Blake Burgau (23 saves); M-Andrew Noble (26 saves).|
After Marshall's Max Deutz went to the penalty box for cross-checking, it took New Ulm 10 seconds to tie the game and swing the momentum its way. Aaron Pfaff scored the goal with assists from Kaleb Juntenen and Adam Loose.
"After we scored that first one, they answered right back with their own power-play goal," Tigers head coach Kori Pearson said. "We didn't really get anything going after that."
Late in the period, Jeff Banal and Brody Peterson beat Marshall goaltender Andrew Noble to give the Eagles a 3-1 edge after one period.
After losing the lead, Pearson thought his team started pressing, putting his defense against odd-man rushes, leading to breakaways and open rebounds.
"We got caught too low because we were pressing too hard," Pearson said. "We have to work to get that fixed, but we still had problems with that. We were just giving them odd-man rushes the other way."
The Tigers were able to regain some composure towards the end of the second period, attacking the net with more frequency. But the efforts of the Eagles' blue line, and goalie Blake Burgau's 23 saves, never let Marshall close the gap. Whether it was on the boards, in the slot or through the neutral zone, New Ulm's physical defenders gave the Tigers little room to work.
"They did a good job attacking us at the net," Haukom said. "As a team, we've got to get better quality shots and just keep working."
Drew Pfaff put the game out of reach with a shot from the point that beat Noble, putting New Ulm up 4-1 with 15 minutes, 37 seconds remaining. Dylan Schreckenberg added another goal in the period for the Eagles.
With eight seconds left, Bryce Peterson scored his team-high seventh goal of the season for Marshall, finishing the game with a goal and an assist.
With another game on the schedule against New Ulm on Feb. 3, Pearson hopes to be ready. As a team hoping to break through Section 3A, Pearson admitted the Eagles are a team the Tigers are hoping to emulate in order to move onto bigger things this season.
"That's kind of where we want to be and what we need to do," Pearson said. "If we can clean up those areas that hurt us (Thursday), we can play right with them. They know how to win and we got to get over that hump."