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Slow start dooms Esky icers in 7-1 loss

Justin St. Ours | Daily Press Escanaba’s Kyle Krutina (17) takes a shot against Marquette goalie Liam Beerman (31) and Jacob Peterson Thursday at Wells.

WELLS — Efficiency was the name of the game for the Marquette hockey team in the first period as an avalanche of early goals threw the Escanaba Eskymos off their game, and the Redmen skated to a 7-1 victory Thursday in Wells.

Ansel Frost put Marquette (12-3) on the board just 12 seconds into the first period.

“I think it started the first shift of the game when we got a goal 12 seconds in,” Redmen coach Doug Garrow said.

“Ansel Frost made a nice play and really got in on their (defense) right away, and I don’t think they were expecting that.”

Within the next six minutes, the Redmen piled on three more goals, converting 3-of-6 shots on net into goals.

“They put four on us right away, and we spoke to the kids about their positioning on the ice and where they need to be,” Esky coach Matt Hughes said. “I thought that was an issue for us. They out-battled us in all three zones.”

The barrage of goals disrupted the Eskymos (8-6), who ended the first period with just three shots on net compared to Marquette’s 12.

Leading 4-0 as the second began, the Redmen added to their advantage with a goal 1:16 into the period courtesy of Ethan Phillips with assists by Jacob Peterson and Gaetano Cammarata.

Escanaba had a chance to shift the momentum with 2:58 left in the second when Sawyer LaMarch was awarded a penalty shot due to a tripping call on Marquette’s Joe DeMattia. However, Marquette goalie Liam Beerman derailed Esky’s shot to get on the board.

“I thought our goalie made a heck of a save on the penalty shot,” Garrow said. “That could have been a game-changer. If they scored there and got some momentum — you know hockey is a game of momentum.”

The Redmen added one more in the period to take a 6-0 lead heading to the third.

Escanaba’s sole goal came 12:13 into the third period from Kyle Krutina with an assist from Karson Krutina.

“It was a good game for us, and it’s good to come into this rink and find some success,” Garrow said. “We may have to come back here for the playoffs, and if we do, at least our guys know that we can play well here.”

Escanaba goalie Trevor Denome finished with 41 saves, while Beerman had 11 for Marquette. Marquette outshot Esky 48-12.

“Trevor made some big saves,” Hughes said. “We were down 4-0 and 6-0, and he was kind of hung out to dry. We did a poor job defensively, but he really strengthened over time. There were two power plays in the third, and he faced a lot of shots. He came up with some big saves.

“Our message to the kids was that we need to start games on time. We can’t get scored on immediately, and we can’t dig ourselves a deep hole like we did tonight. With a team like Marquette, they’re fast, they come at you and they don’t give up many shots.”

Escanaba hosts Calumet Tuesday, while Marquette hosts Kingsford.

Marquette 4 2 1 — 7

Escanaba 0 0 1 — 1

Marquette — Frost, assisted by Cammarata and King (0:12 first period); Sides, assisted by Ranta (1:10 first period); Fedrizzi, assisted by Phillips and Frost (4:34 first period); Nemetz, assited by Peterson (6:07 first period); Phillips, assisted by Peterson and Cammarata (1:16 second period); Sides, assisted by Peterson (15:04 second period); D. Baldwin, assisted by Garrow.

Escanaba — Kyle Krutina, assisted by Karson Krutina (12:13 third period).

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