Gremlins earn wins over Hawks, Flivvers on weekend
HOUGHTON — The visiting Saginaw Heritage Hawks hockey team did something Friday night no other team had done to the Houghton Gremlins. The Hawks forced the Gremlins to play from behind, one thing they had not done this season.
Trailing 2-0 after the first period, the Gremlins (6-0 overall) responded with six straight goals to earn a 6-2 victory in the first meeting between the two schools, at least during Gremlins coach Corey Markham’s tenure.
While he was not pleased with his team’s first period, Corey Markham was certainly happy with the second and third periods, not just because his team found the net six times, but also because they played like they are capable of playing. He had no explanation for his team’s start, however.
“We were super disappointed in our first period,” he said, “but we could feel it right from our first shift that we didn’t show up ready to play. We didn’t have the energy that we normally have.
“They’re coming off a big victory against Hancock, and I don’t know what all the reasons were, but we didn’t show up ready to play.”
Hawks coach J.J. Bamberger felt good about the effort he got from his group in the game’s opening 17 minutes. Goals from Nolan Drapp, on the power play, and Mason Cole gave the Hawks the lead.
“I thought that we came out strong, obviously, with a 2-0 lead,” he said. “It’s the second game in a row against a top team. We had a 2-0 lead against Brighton, and let them back in the game.
“Special teams has to get better. We just have to find a way to, we’re up 2-0, complete the process and keep going instead of letting them back in the game.”
The Gremlins got a key goal from junior Michael Maillette that set them in motion just 3:41 into the second period and just 10 seconds after it appeared that Houghton scored its first goal.
His coach pointed out the importance of that goal.
“Whether it was in or not, they call it no goal,” Corey said. “but that happened, and it gave us life. We scored right after it.”
From there, the Gremlins got two goals from assistant captain Landon Stevens before the end of the second period. His first came just after a power play at 6:30, the second came off a pass from co-captain Gaborik Carlson that even impressed Corey Markham.
“Landon can shoot the puck,” he said. “He ended up with two great situations. The pass from Gaborik on the power play goal was just tremendous. It was a play that we hadn’t run off our power play much. You couldn’t draw it up any better.”
Co-captain Camden Markham figured into both of Stevens’ goals as well. Then he added three goals of his own in the third to push the game out of reach.
Camden’s first goal came just 3:09 into the period when he buried a backdoor pass. He struck again at 13:20 after Stevens’ pass that was intended for Carlson instead bounced to Camden in the slot. His third was deposited into the empty net at 15:45.
Despite the loss, Bamberger felt that the game was another good learning opportunity for his group that has already blown a lead against Brighton and lost to Marquette this season.
“There’s just certain things that we have to do to clean up the game,” he said. “We will do that, and it’s a learning process throughout the year. That’s why we have our schedule like we do.”
While they did not win, Bamberger also expressed his appreciation for getting the chance to face the Gremlins on their home ice early in the season.
“Coming up here has always been one of the things, I’ve been with the program for 24 years, and saying that’s something we want to do,” he said. “We’ve seen other teams do it, and hopefully we can start doing it as an annual thing.”
Gremlins’ big third period lifts them to win over Flivvers
HOUGHTON — The Gremlins fired 50 shots at Isaiah Anderson, but as the game ended Saturday, it felt like they needed all of them to defeat the visiting Kingsford Flivvers, 6-2.
Anderson kept the Gremlins off the board until the 6:44 mark of the second period when Carlson found the back of the net. The lead was short-lived, however, as Jaxon Buckley answered for Kingsford at 9:29.
Needing to assert themselves, the Gremlins did just that as Maillette struck 2:27 into the third. His goal was followed at 8:40 by a Camden Markham tally.
Stevens scored the next two Gremlins’ goals, the first at 10:15 and the second at 14:19, sandwiched around a goal by the Flivvers’ Gavin Moore at 11:55.
Junior defenseman Wyatt Jenkins closed out the scoring for the Gremlins with a goal with 24 seconds left in the contest.
With the win, Corey Markham moved to 376 victories behind the bench for the Gremlins over the course of his career. With just three more wins, he will surpass Don Miller for the most in school history.
The Gremlins will travel to the MacInnes Student Ice Arena Tuesday to face the Jeffers Jets. Opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m.