Marshall tops Hermantown, 3-2

Duluth Marshall players didn't have a boys hockey state championship trophy to skate around with at Mars Lakeview Arena on Thursday night, but a 3-2 victory over Hermantown will suffice for now.

Duluth Marshall players didn't have a boys hockey state championship trophy to skate around with at Mars Lakeview Arena on Thursday night, but a 3-2 victory over Hermantown will suffice for now.

The Hilltoppers, who were knocked off 4-1 by Hermantown in the Minnesota Class A high school title game last March, gained a modicum of revenge with the one-goal Lake Superior Conference win.

Junior Zach Mausolf banged home a rebound with 1:05 left, and then the Hilltoppers (10-3 overall, 2-0 conference) survived a 6-on-4 Hermantown power play for the final 40 seconds to preserve the victory.

"In front of our fans, we had to prove that we are better than they are," said Mausolf, who scored during a 4-on-4 situation after Hawks goalie Ben Tessier steered Lanny Olson's slap shot to the left of the goal. "We definitely got revenge on them, and now we'll see what we can do the rest of the season."

The Hawks (8-5, 1-3) dominated the third period, outshooting Marshall 19-6. Koby Wargin tied the game at 2 with a power-play goal at 4:01 of the period, but Marshall junior goalie Matt Messina stopped the other 18 attempts. That included the final four shots of the game after the Hawks, who already were on the power play, pulled Tessier for a two-man advantage.


"The second period was one of our best periods of the year," Marshall coach Brendan Flaherty said. "Then they came at us [in the third periord] with some desperation, and we lost the momentum. They stole the momentum away from us clearly, and we got off our game in the third."

Despite the loss, Hermantown coach Bruce Plante wasn't fazed about his young team's development, considering they were without injured regulars Grant Huttel and Dan Smith.

"I think we're way on track," said Plante, whose team's six-game winning streak ended. "Under the circumstances we had today, with some injuries and sick guys, I thought we played great."

Hawks junior defenseman Steve Bockovich broke a scoreless draw 12:07 into the first period, taking advantage of an untimely Marshall shift change. Defenseman J.P. Raiche left the ice just as the puck bounced back into the Hilltoppers' zone, leaving Bockovich alone to scoop it up and beat Messina with a high shot for his second goal of the season.

Senior winger Joe Krause, the Hawks' second-leading scorer, was sent off for a 10-minute misconduct penalty that stretched into the second period, and that helped Marshall take control.

"We came out hard, hitting them and kind of slowed them down a little bit," said senior forward Tom Paine, who picked up assists on Marshall's two second-period goals.

Marshall outshot Hermantown 13-4 in the middle stanza, taking the lead on goals by Lanny Olson and Mark Laskowski.

Olson, a senior defenseman, wound up and blasted a slap shot after Paine carried the puck to the net and left a pass that floated out to the blue line.


Just 3:44 later, Laskowski flipped a shot on goal that bounced off Tessier's leg pads and into the net for a power-play goal at 14:57.

"The second period we just stood around and didn't move our feet, and it cost us," Plante said. "They have a nice team; they move the puck well and attack."

The rivals aren't scheduled to play again. However, since they essentially swapped sections and will definitely contend for crowns in their new sections, it's possible they could face each other again at the state tournament in March.

"Maybe we'll see them again," Plante said. "I like the direction we're going."

Hermantown 1-0-1--2

Duluth Marshall 0-2-1--3

First period -- 1. H, Steve Bockovich (Mike Boese), 12:07.

Second period -- 2. DM, Lanny Olson (Tom Paine), 11:13 3. DM, Mark Laskowski (Paine, Trent Harris), 14:57 (pp).


Third period -- 4. H, Koby Wargin (Willis Kantonen, Branden Perrault), 4:01 (pp) 5. DM, Zach Mausolf (Olson, David Hafferty), 15:55.

Saves -- Ben Tessier, H, 29 Matt Messina, DM, 28.

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