MARQUETTE - Playing at Lakeview Arena, the hometown Marquette Senior High School Redmen usually have higher expectations than any visitor willing to venture into their lion's den.
And it seemed that way listening to both coaches after Escanaba escaped with a 3-3 overtime tie in a game that Marquette never led.
"We didn't play very well for a lot of this game," Marquette head coach Joe Papin said. "Especially in the first period, there was a lot of cheerleading going on instead of guys getting into the play.
Adelle Whitefoot | Marquette Mining Journal
Escanaba’s Derek Chaillier (10) races along the board keeping the puck away from Marquette’s Cole Genschaw (16) as Escanaba’s Bryce Wolf (11) trails during the second period Thursday at Lakeview Arena in Marquette.
"When you only have 24 games in a high school season, you can't afford to take any games off.
"You could see how bad Escanaba wanted it; they won most of the puck battles in the corners."
Eskymos coach Tim McCarthy was much more positive after the game left both teams at 8-6-1.
First period - 1. Escanaba, Dan Williams (LeMire, Eastin) ppg, 7:00; 2. Escanaba, Derek Chaillier (LeMire), 9:35; 3. Marquette, Collin Schwemin (Smith, Jackson), 11:25
Second period - 4. Marquette, Mike House (Genschaw, Chapman), 0:13; 5. Escanaba, Bryce Wolf (unassisted), 2:50; 6. Marquette, Eric Chapman (Carriere), 16:14
Third period - No scoring
Overtime - No scoring
Power-play opportunities: Escanaba, 1 of 4; Marquette, 0 of 2
Penalties: Escanaba, 2-4; Marquette, 4-8
Goalie saves: Escanaba, Austin Young, 29 (4-8-10-7); Marquette, Evan Kyle, 23 (9-6-6-2)
"Our guys are there, our will is there," he said. "I've told our guys that they have to want it more, and they showed they did. There was just a lot of determination out there. Lakeview always is a tough place to play."
McCarthy knows it's often an uphill battle playing an established team like Marquette.
"Our program is so small," he said about youth hockey in his community, "that we struggle to have even one or two Bantam teams.
"We haven't always been competitive with the Marquettes and Calumets, so now that we are, it's easier to be motivated to become better and better."
While the scoring slowed down as the game went on - no goals came in the third period or eight-minute overtime - the chances really didn't.
Goalies Austin Young of Escanaba and Evan Kyle of Marquette were up to the task, sometimes even when that task looked impossible.
One that stuck in observers' heads came with about 3:45 left in regulation when Young, stationed on the left side of the goal, stopped a slapshot by a Redmen player from the left circle, then somehow scooted across the goalmouth to stonewall Marquette's Tyler Jackson, who was camped out on the right edge of the crease.
"That one time late in the third period, I could see the whole net was open," Papin said, since the location of the Marquette bench gave him Jackson's view into the net. "Austin Young's a terrific goaltender.
"Evan (Kyle) played well, too. Remember, Escanaba for the most part was outworking us."
Escanaba held an 11-5 edge in shots in the first period, aided by nearly back-to-back power plays that produced the game's first goal exactly seven minutes in.
Just 11 seconds into the second man-advantage, the Eskymos' Dan Williams waited at Kyle's doorstep, knocking in a rebound off an initial shot taken from near the blueline.
About 2 1/2 minutes later, the partisan Marquette crowd was stunned when EHS went up 2-0 on a shot by Derek Chaillier from the right point that flew over the shoulder of a screened-out Kyle.
It was a wake-up call for the Redmen, who needed less than two minutes to get on the scoreboard when Collin Schwemin knocked in a second or third rebound from close range.
MSHS tied it just 13 seconds into the second period as Mike House ended a flurry of shots that started at the point, moved close in to the goal, and finished back at the right point with some help screening out Young.
But Esky retook a 3-2 lead about 2 1/2 minutes later on yet another rebound that followed an initial long shot and produced a flurry of activity right on the goalie's doorstep.
This one was credited to Bryce Wolf, and was unassisted following Marquette getting possession but not able to clear the puck away from Kyle.
The Redmen survived several more shorthanded situations later in the second period, paying off with the game-tying goal by Eric Chapman 46 seconds before intermission.
He was the third man in on a rush up the left side started with a shot by Kyle Carriere. The initial trailer fanned on the rebound before Chapman buried it home with Young sprawled away from the play.
Marquette finally got its first power play in third period, and had one in OT too, but despite some quality chances, couldn't get another puck past Young as the Redmen were outshot Esky, 32-26.