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Prep Hockey: Houghton edges Novi 6-5 in OT

Houghton's Brandon Norkol (12) scores against Novi goaltender Austin Muirhead (1) on Saturday, January 11, 2020, in Houghton, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

HOUGHTON — Sometimes hockey comes down inches or seconds.

Or like it did on Saturday, it came down to both.

A matter of seconds, because Houghton’s Ty Halonen scored the tying goal with 11 seconds remaining in the game, setting the stage for Camden Markham to bury a rebound in overtime to give the Gremlins a 6-5 win against Novi at Dee Stadium.

The win ended Houghton’s three-game losing streak.

A matter of inches because, if Novi had gotten more favorable bounces throughout the whole game, Houghton (9-6) may not have been in a position to tie the game when it mattered most.

Halonen’s rebound goal came after a whirlwind third period in which Novi scored four goals. The lead changed five times throughout the game, including twice in the third. There were also four tying goals in the third.

“That was a huge goal by Ty Halonen with 11 seconds left,” Houghton head coach Corey Markham said. “Our kids took it to them in the beginning of the overtime with Camden getting the goal to win it.”

Markham scored the winner off a rebound with the initial shot by Dane Johnson, who got the assist. Gaborik Carlson also assisted.

Novi (3-7-2) peppered Gremlins goalie Jimmy Pietila with 17 shots, some of which trickled through the crease just wide of the net. Pietila finished the game with 32 saves.

“Really crazy third period. Going back to the start of the game, I was really disappointed with how we came out to play the game,” Markham said. “We had a whole week off and thought we were going to be energized and full of life at the beginning of the game and we didn’t have that. I thought Novi out-competed us in the first period by quite a bit. We got out of the first period 1-1 and after that point I was really happy with our effort. We flipped the switch and competed really hard.”

The power play ignited the Gremlins as they were 3 for 3 with the man advantage. Houghton struck twice in the second for a 3-1 lead, both of which were power-play goals.

“We were 10 seconds away from pulling a nice upset,” Novi head coach Mark Vellucci said. “Would’ve been nice to get the W there, but credit Houghton, they never gave up — scored the tying goal and then got one in overtime. We’re definitely disappointed with the outcome, but in the two games we really competed and that’s been our focus this year. Hopefully the rest of the games it’ll change for us.”

Brandon Norkol, Nathan Erva, Brandon Trudeau and Gaborik Carlson all scored for Houghton.

Novi tied it four and a half minutes into the third period with a power-play goal. Carlson gave Houghton the lead back six minutes after. Novi tied it up and took the lead with goals 30 seconds apart. Houghton scrambled the rest of the third looking for the tying goal, which came when Halonen found a rebound just inside the left face-off dot with 11 seconds.

Novi 1 0 4 0 — 5

Houghton 1 2 2 1 — 6

First Period–1, Hou, Norkol (Erva, Choi), 10:52. 2, Novi, Erskine (Sharma), 15:40. Penalties–Hou, Norkol (roughing), 5:28.

Second Period–3, Hou, Erva (Johnson, Ty Halonen), 5:34, pp. 4, Hou, Trudeau (Erva, Choi), 15:31, pp. Penalties–Novi, Naidu (slashing), 3:52. Novi, Naidu (cross-checking), 15:21.

Third Period–5, Novi, Amalfitano (Small, Datta), 0:15. 6, Novi, Gibbs, 4:30, pp. 7, Hou, Carlson (Stevens, Trudeau), 10:13, pp. 8, Novi, Gibbs (Sharma, Nichanametla), 14:53, pp. 9, Novi, Rallis (Erskine, Small), 15:22. 10, Hou, Ty Halonen, 16:49. Penalties–Hou, Trudeau (tripping), 3:16. Hou, Erva (slashing), 6:58. Novi, Small (slashing), 8:51. Hou, Choi (holding), 14:36.

Overtime–11, Hou, Markham (Carlson, Trudeau), 0:55.

Shots on Goal–Novi 17-9-11-0–37. Hou10-9-7-2–28.

Power-play Opportunities–Novi 2 of 4. Hou 3 of 3.

Goalies–Novi, Muirhead 9-7-5-1–22 saves. Hou, Pietila 16-9-7-0–32.

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