MARSHALL - The Marshall boys hockey team marked its home opener with a pair of last-minute goals against New Ulm, but it was not enough as the Tigers fell to the Eagles 4-2 on Thursday.
"New Ulm is a tough opponent. They bring speed, they bring the body," said Marshall head coach Dave Coudert. "We had two tough games back-to-back and we were just a little worn down. Their speed was a little faster than we were ready for, being worn down."
The Eagles (1-1 overall) struck early in the first on an unassisted goal by Wyatt Peterson. Things got chippy early between the players, and in less than a minute the Tigers (3-2) racked up three minor penalties. Seven seconds later New Ulm doubled its lead at 6:47 with a power play goal from Brandon Helget.
Photo by Alex Oey
Marshall’s Beau Mikel pushes the puck up the ice while being pursued by a New Ulm player during the first period of Thursday’s game at Lockwood Motors Ice Arena.
"This was the first game we didn't have any flow at all and I think it was part of a long two weeks," Coudert said. "The boys were just tired and the legs were gone. We just needed to keep our heads about ourselves and not fall into the stuff we were doing."
Neither team was able to mount any more offense in the first period and the Eagles took a 2-0 lead into the break.
"We knew we had to play our best, but we didn't come out in the first period and it showed," said Marshall's Leo Zerr. "We got down 2-0 and we played from behind the whole game and had a lot of stupid penalties."
New Ulm2 0 2-4
Marshall0 0 2-2
NU-Wyatt Peterson (unassisted), 3:08
NU-Brandon Helget PP (Judd Davis, Blake Neumann), 6:47
NU-Neumann (unassisted), 4:02
NU-Ethan Kraus PP (unassisted), 6:54
M-Taylor Rasmussen (Blaine Moran, Brent Haukom), 16:02
M-Leo Zerr (Taylor Rasmussen), 16:51
Shots on Goal: NU-35; M-25.
Goaltenders: NU-Brach Kraus (23 saves; M-Adam Cavazos (31 saves).
In the second period the Tiger attack was stronger, but Marshall was still unable to crack the scoreboard.
"We got back in the locker room and had a good chat, explained what we were expecting and got the boys on page with what we wanted," Coudert said. "I think we kind of flushed out that tiredness in the first period."
Each team took a roughing minor before Tyler Untiedt was called for checking from behind, which resulted in a game ejection.
"We always tell them to stay out of it, just let them chirp and we'll take it to them out on the ice," Coudert said. "Sometimes this kind of stuff happens. We try to stop it, but sometimes it's up to the players."
In the third period New Ulm's attack came back strong. The Tigers turned away four shots before the Eagles found the net again when Blake Neumann scored unassisted at 4:02.
Penalties again plagued Marshall, with three penalties - including a 10-minute misconduct - were called in 67 seconds. New Ulm took advantage again and scored its second power play goal of the night to build a 4-0 lead.
"We match up well with New Ulm when we're skating five-on-five. You get tired when you're killing penalties," Coudert said. "The legs start burning even more when you're tired and sooner or later when you're tired you rely on doing things on the ice you shouldn't be doing."
After the New Ulm goal, Marshall called a timeout to regroup.
"We told them when we took our timeout that the game is in New Ulm's hands, so we need to make a statement for next time we play them that we can hang with them," Coudert said. "We put some lines together of some guys that wanted to go out and skate hard."
The Tigers kept skating despite the deficit, and with 58 seconds left on the clock Taylor Rasmussen put in a rebound, breaking the shutout. Blaine Moran and Brent Haukom were credited with the assist.
"(Someone) shot it and it went off a players leg and was sitting in the crease," Rasmussen said. "I just hit it home."
Not happy with just one goal, Marshall stayed on the attack and was rewarded with a goal nine seconds before the final horn.
Leo Zerr held back and got a Rasmussen rebound he put in to make it a 4-2 game.
"We're taught to stay high, and that's what I was doing," Zerr said. "The puck came out to my stick. I saw the top shelf and put it there."
The Tigers will travel to Redwood Falls on Tuesday to face Redwood Valley in a Southwest Conference match-up.
"We need to keep calm heads. We're going to take an optional skate (today) to give the kids a rest since they are tired," Coudert said. "We'll hit it hard on Monday and we have a game on Tuesday against Redwood Valley. We're looking to have calmer heads and prevail there."