MARSHALL - It wasn't exactly the performance they were hoping for, but the end result was still a win for the players on the Marshall girls' hockey team Tuesday night against Morris/Benson Area. Jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, the Tigers' intensity waned at times during the next two periods but they still managed to hang on for a 3-2 win over the Storm at Lockwood Motors Ice Arena.
Marshall (8-13-1 overall, 6-2 Southwest Conference) did all of its scoring within the first 10 minutes of the game. On Senior Night, Tiger senior Brooke Louwagie scored her first career goal four minutes into the contest on a long-range shot that got past Storm goaltender Shainne Wold. This is Louwagie's first year out for hockey and she's one of two seniors on the team along with defenseman Morgan Larsen.
The excitement Louwagie generated with her goal carried over the next handful of minutes. Lizzie Archbold added a second Tiger goal at the six minute, 20 second mark of the period, then punched home another goal just over three minutes later.
Marshall senior Brooke Louwagie pushes the puck up the ice just before scoring her first career goal during the first period of Tuesday night’s game against Morris/Benson Area at Lockwood Motors Ice Arena.
"I think we got the start that we wanted with our intensity," Marshall head coach Kevin Schroeder said. "The first three-quarters of that first period was exactly how we wanted to play. We had a lot of forecheck pressure, and even though they were outshooting us, they weren't that great of quality of shots."
The Storm did what they could to get back some momentum, scoring a power play goal with two minutes left in the period to cut the lead to 3-1 going into the first intermission.
The Tigers had possession of the puck for a good portion of the second period, but were unable to generate many scoring opportunities. They had just two shots on goal in the period despite having the advantage of two power plays.
"I told them between the first and second period to come out with the energy that we started the first with," Marshall head coach Kevin Schroeder said. "I thought we did, but then all of the sudden I thought we got a little flat-footed. Once you get up 3-1 sometimes it's like you don't have to work for it, and then it's hard to get started again."
Marshall picked up its pace a bit in the third period, generating eight shots on goal. It was Morris/Benson Area, however, that would break free for a score. Junior forward Tabitha Marrs gave the Storm players hope of a possible comeback with a goal at the 12:42 mark of the third period, cutting the Tiger lead to one goal.
The Storm had a good chance to even things up with just over 20 seconds left in the game as Morgan DeHann broke free down the left side of the ice, but her shot was saved by Marshall's Morgan Morrill to preserve the win. Morrill finished the game with 14 saves.
The Tigers have one game left in the regular season. They'll cap a three-game homestand Friday when they take on Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato.
Schroeder said he hopes the team can finish on a stronger note than what they showed Tuesday.
"We have to do a little better job of controlling the puck and not giving it away so much," he said. "We should be doing that this time of the year. But give it to Morris, they worked hard. They skated like they wanted it.
"We said we can't afford the giveaways and taking shifts off when it comes to the playoffs. You have to be consistent and consistently working hard."
M/BA1 0 1-2
Marshall3 0 0-3
M-Brooke Louwagie (Mikenna Radke), 4:00
M-Lizzie Archbold (unassisted), 6:20
M-Archbold (Jessica Blanchard, Hanna Peterson), 9:53
M/BA-Emily Walz (Hanna Lindblad), 15:08
M/BA-Tabitha Marrs (Morgan DeHaan), 12:42
Shots on Goal: M/BA-14; M-15.
Goaltenders: M/BA-Shianne Wold (12 saves); M-Morgan Morrill (14 saves).