Hancock beats Marquette 5-2 for conference title
HANCOCK — Looking for a response after a disappointing Wing Ding loss to their rivals, the Houghton Gremlins, the No. 1-ranked Hancock Bulldogs got just that with a 5-2 win over the Marquette Redmen Tuesday at the Houghton County Arena.
With the win, the Bulldogs clinched the Great Lakes Hockey Conference regular season title.
The Bulldogs exploded out of the gates and put a lot of pressure on the ninth-ranked Redmen, defensively, after an icing by Marquette just eight seconds in, which is just what coach Dan Rouleau expected from his team, especially with the Redmen missing forward Joe Phillips.
“We needed a good start,” Rouleau said. “We got a good start … A good start and a good finish.”
Then, at the 1:16 mark, defenseman Teddy Perrault found a soft spot in the Redmen’s defense and he waited there for a pass from center Colton Salani. Salani, who had just picked up his own rebound, fed the puck quickly out to Perrault, who roofed a wrist shot over Redmen goaltender Tyler Bergwall’s right shoulder.
The Bulldogs (17-6-0 overall) struck again just under a minute and a half later when winger Petr Anderson found assistant captain Alex Nordstrom behind the Redmen net. Nordstrom skated the puck around the back of the net and fed it quickly to winger Austin Salani, who buried a one-timer at 2:42.
It was just the start the Bulldogs were looking for.
“When you come off a loss like that, a devastating loss, you want to jump right back on the horse right away and get a good start,” Rouleau said. “We certainly did.”
Hancock jumped ahead 3-0 with a power-play goal just 42 seconds into the second period when Nordstrom took a lead pass from captain Teddy Randell, deked to his backhand and beat Bergwall cleanly.
From that point forward, the second period slowed down due to a number of penalties for both teams.
The Redmen (11-9-2 overall) took advantage of a 5-on-3 situation and another delayed penalty. Winger Tanner Phillips moved the puck out to the right point where winger Sterling Wright beat assistant captain Dawson Kero over the blocker at 6:10.
Several more penalties slowed down the pace of the game until the Redmen cut the Bulldogs’ lead to one 6:26 into the third on another power play when winger Sean O’Connor knocked a rebound past Kero just before the net came dislodged from its moorings.
“We spotted them two goals,” Redmen coach Doug Garrow said. “We battled back after we started to play a little physical.”
The Bulldogs had to kill off another penalty on the heels of the second Redmen goal. They bore down, survived the penalty, and within four minutes they struck twice in 47 seconds to put the game out of reach.
The first came off the stick of Anderson, who one-timed a pass from Nordstrom past Bergwall at 10:02. Then defenseman Tyler Turcotte, who was suffering through a difficult family matter, found the back of the net at 10:49.
“It was really nice to see Tyler Turcotte put one under the bar,” said Rouleau. “His grandpa died. He was having a rough day. To come back and get an insurance goal like that was good to see.”
The Bulldogs return to action Thursday when they host Jeffers on senior night.
– – –
Marquette 0 1 1 — 2
Hancock 2 1 2 — 5
HCH: Teddy Perrault (Colton Salani, Teddy Randell), 1:16, 1-0
HCH: Austin Salani (Alex Nordstrom, Petr Anderson), 2:42, 2-0
HCH: Nordstrom (Randell), PP, :42, 3-0
MHS: Sterling Wright (Tanner Phillips), PP, 6:10, 3-1
MHS: Sean O’Connor (Kobie Guidebeck), PP, 6:26, 3-2
HCH: Anderson (Nordstrom), 10:02, 4-2
HCH: Turcotte (Austin Salani), 10:49, 5-2
Bergwall, MHS 14 7 4 – 25
Kero, HCH 8 8 6 – 22
MHS: 9/26; HCH: 9/18
MHS: 2/7; HCH: 1/6