A three-goal third period proved the difference between the Marshall Tigers and Redwood Valley Cardinals in Southwest Conference boys' hockey action Thursday in Redwood Falls, with the Tigers (4-2 overall, 3-1 Southwest Conference) coming out on top 4-1.
The two teams were scoreless after the first period, despite the Tigers out-shooting the Cardinals 23-3 over the first 17 minutes.
"Redwood was good at keeping us to the outside of the rink, so we had to take a lot of long shots and their goalie was able to stop those," Marshall head coach Dave Coudert said. "Lots of shots, but they didn't really amount to the goals that we needed."
The Tigers would find their goals, but not until Redwood Valley freshman Niko Berge struck first blood 2 minutes, 41 seconds into the second period. Marshall evened the score when Quinn Horvath scored 6:02 into the period, with Brent Haukom assisting.
Along with the score being tied up, the Cardinals also closed the gap on Marshall's shot advantage during the second period, with the Tigers holding a 10-8 shot advantage. It was a sign to Coudert that the Cardinals were hungrier for the conference win than his own team, an insight he shared with his squad.
"We just told them after the second period we thought Redwood outworked us," Coudert said. "We told (the team) that they are a better team (than Redwood) and they need to dig deep down and really prove that they want the win."
Marshall0 1 3-4
Redwood Valley0 1 0-1
R-Niko Berge (Logan Sandgren, Austin Kretsch), 2:41
M-Quinn Horvath (Brent Haukom), 6:02
M-Beau Mikel, 6:06
M-Mikel (Horvath), 8:24
M-Corey Clark (Levi Hedman), 13:34
Shots on Goal: M-47; R-17.
Goaltenders: M-Mason Campion (16 saves); R-Jordan Houle (43 saves).
First to answer the call was senior captain Beau Mikel. His two goals at the 6:06 and 8:24 marks of the third period broke open the game and finally exposed Cardinal netminder Jordan Houle, who made 43 total saves in the game.
"He's the heartbeat of the team," Coudert said of Mikel. "He sometimes puts the team on his back and he did that tonight. He went out and did what we asked him to do. And him and Quinn (Horvath) really feed off of each other. They like to compete with each other, so they go out there and try to out-work each other which goes to dominating the other team when they're on the ice. He's a leader, he's a captain, he's the heartbeat of the team and we all feed off of it."
Corey Clark added Marshall's fourth unanswered goal at the 13:34 mark with Levi Hedman assisting to seal the game.
In net for the Tigers was Mason Campion, who turned aside 16 of Redwood Valley's 17 shots. Campion and senior Adam Cavazos have been splitting time between the pipes for the Tigers this season; and with a home game against Willmar awaiting the Tigers on Saturday, Coudert says he's still waiting to make the decision on who his number one tender is.
"They've both had great games, they've both had hiccups," Coudert said. "We're going to give each goalie a chance and see what they've got, and when the time is right to name a permanent goalie closer to the postseason, we just want to make sure that everyone has had a fair look."