By Paul Peterson
For the Gazette
HANCOCK - With a two-goal lead and just over four minutes left to play, the Hancock Bulldogs appeared to be in good shape to notch a victory over Marquette in its Great Lakes Conference debut Friday night.
Hancock's Brett Lepisto lets loose a shot that found the net Friday night against Marquette. The two teams played to a 4-4 overtime deadlock. (Paul Peterson photo)
But that lead dissipated quickly when the Redmen scored twice in a 29-second span to knot the game.
The game ended up in 4-4 deadlock at the Houghton County Arena that left HCHS skipper Dan Rouleau a bit disappointed.
"We let one slip away and you never like to see that happen in your own barn," Rouleau commented. "But give Marquette credit ... they just outworked us in the third period."
MHS coach Doug Garrow said his team had to dig in after falling behind late.
"We battled back in the third period, I thought our guys were able to overcome some adversity," Garrow noted. "In a first game of the season, you want to see how your guys will respond after falling behind."
After the Crimson and Gold grabbed a 4-2 lead in third frame on nice goals by Hayden Heikkinen and Dylan Paavola, the Redmen got untracked after a power play marker by Luke Schwemin at the 13:25 mark.
"I thought Luke's goal got us going," Garrow said. "We were looking for momentum at that point and we got it there."
Marquette's situation got even brighter just 29 ticks later when McKinley Larson beat 'Dawgs netminder Jacob Givens from short range.
Marquette had the better of the 8-minute overtime period, Givens having to come up with two spectacular saves.
One came on a breakaway late in the session that had Rouleau searching for answers.
"You don't want your goaltender in a situation like that late in the game," he said. "But it's season opener and we'll look to work on that."
The Redmen took a 2-1 lead after one period on goals by Chris Amundsen and Mac Larson. Alex Hill got one back for Hancock.
Brett Lepisto's goal in the second stanza knotted it 2-2.
MHS netminder Johnny Beckman made 23 saves in the contest. Givens was called on to block 21 shots.
The Bulldogs will now prepare for the Copper Island Classic against Calumet next week.
Marquette will host Houghton in another GLC test next Tuesday.