MARSHALL - Coming off its first state appearance in school history in 2012-13, first-year Marshall men's hockey coach Michael Weiss knew there was the potential for early season growing pains after the team graduated a number of seniors.
Those growing pains were fairly strong Tuesday night.
The Luverne Cardinals took advantage of four Marshall penalties in the second period, scoring three goals in a 2-minute span, outshooting the Tigers 33-20 en-route to a 6-0 shutout at Lockwood Motors Ice Arena.
Photo by Patrick Stumpf
Marshall’s Taylor Rasmussen reaches for the puck versus Luverne during a Southwest Conference game Monday at Lockwood Motors Ice Arena.
"I think alot of guys were a little nervous tonight, even our veteran guys," said Weiss, whose team dropped to 1-1. "It was a big game. As a coaching staff, we have to get them better prepared for games like this, and get them going early so we don't have that bad second period."
Luverne, which improved to 2-0 on the year, took control in that second period thanks to a 15-4 shots on-goal edge, and Marshall miscues. Following an unsportslikeman penalty on Tigers' senior goaltender Mason Campion, the Cardinals capitalized just 48 seconds into the power play, extending their lead on a goal from sophomore forward Chaz Smedsrud.
The scoring onslaught continued just 90 seconds later, when Cardinal defenseman Toby Sengvongxay snuck another past Campion. Then eighth-grade forward Jaxon Nelson scored a mere 36 seconds after that on an unassisted goal.
"They were a couple (penalties) where it was just rookie mistakes and we need to know better," said Weiss. "There were some unfortunate calls in there, and that's part of hockey. We have to play through it and be more disciplined next time around."
Luverne co-head coach Derrick Brown emphasized just how big of a moment swing those few minutes in the second period was for his team.
"Hockey is a game of momentum," Brown said. "We really kind of seized the game right there. But we told the guys, 'we can't quit,' Marshall is a good team."
Although they started four seniors Tuesday, a number of the Tigers' first and second lines were comprised of players who didn't play significant minutes during the state run last season. Yet, Brown still acknowledged how dangerous Marshall was coming into the year.
"Mason Campion is one of the top goaltenders in our area," he said. "We knew we had to get a lot of pucks to the net, and we were fortunate that some of them found the back of the net finally."
Despite the loss, Weiss knows there is a silver lining. He only needs to rewind one season to know that.
"We lost some big games last year, came back at the end of the year and came through (to state)," he said. "Going forward, we know we have to play three periods. You can't play one-and-a-half, two periods and expect to win games. There is a lot of time to learn."
Marshall will look to rebound Thursday, when the Tigers travel to New Ulm to take on an Eagles team that dropped its season opener Nov. 30 to Orono, 6-2.
LUVERNE 6, MARSHALL 0
First Period: 1. Luverne, Hoffman (Verhey, Sengvongxay), 14:15. Penalties: Marshall, Rasmussen (Tripping), 6:25.
Second Period: 1. Luverne, Smedsrud (Norman), PP, 7:23; 2. Luverne, Sengvongxay (Nelson), 8:55; 3. Nelson (unassisted), 9:29; 4. Luverne, Hoffman (Frankenhoff), 13:22. Penalties: Marshall, Pickthorn (high sticking), 4:17; Marshall, Campion (unsportsmanlike), 6:45; Luverne, Verhey (slashing), 12:24; Marshall, Larsen (holding), 12:24; Luverne, Frankenhoff (slashing), 16:51; Marshall, Larsen (elbowing), 6:20.
Third Period: 1. Luverne, Nelson (Smedsrud), 12:26. Penalties: Luverne, Sengvongxay (boarding), 13:17.
Shots On-Goal: Luverne 10-15-8-33; Marshall 6-4-10-20.
Power-Play Opportunities: Luverne 1 of 4; Marshall 0 of 2.
Goaltending: Luverne, Kendall Meyer (20 shots- 20 saves); Marshall, Mason Campion (33 shots- 27 saves).