Alpena, MI – March 1, 2023 – The Marquette Redmen (17-6-2) were in hostile territory in the MHSAA Regional final down in Alpena Wildcats (23-3). The Redmen looked to advance further into the post season on Wednesday in front of a jam packed crowd. John Thomsen and Joe Gaffney had the call live from Northern Lights Arena on Fox Sports Marquette 105.1-99.9!
The Redmen won the opening draw and opened with intensity against the top line of the Wildcats. Marquette found themselves with a power play opportunity early, but Alpena did a great job of keeping it clear of their offensive zone. The Wildcats would get their chance on a power play where they’ve been successful this year. Senior Anden Marceau would score for Alpena on the power play to get the first goal of the evening. Colin Nemacheck had a short-handed breakaway but was denied after a great save from Aidan Schultz. The Redmen would even things up before the end of the first period with Joe DiMattia finding the back of the net for a power play goal.
Marquette 1 (9 SOG) – Alpena 1 (12 SOG)
Caleb Beerman would walk the Wildcat defenseman back and slid one past Schultz to give the Redmen their first lead. Marquette would stay aggressive and get another shot on goal off the following face-off. The two teams exchanged penalty kills with both getting off shots, but none getting by the goaltenders. Great defense by both teams kept pucks out of the net along with numerous power plays for both teams. The Redmen wound up short handed, 5-on-3, in the last :43 of the period and were able to escape without letting through a score.
Marquette 2 (7 SOG) – Alpena 1 (8 SOG)
The final 17 minutes started with Marquette short handed 5-on-3 for the first few seconds, but it would be 5-on-4 for the first minute and a half. Once back to full strength Nash Riipi would clear the zone and the puck would find the stick of Nemacheck for a shot on goal, but Jake Garrow would get the rebound and the score. Alpena would answer with speed and a shot on net with a great save by Cole Kelly.
The Wildcats would go on the power play the ensuring possession but the Redmen would effectively kill the penalty. Kelly would force Alpena into inopportune shot angles to give himself and Marquette an added advantage in the endgame against the speed of the Wildcats. Alpena would manage to capitalize on a broken play in the neutral zone and move the puck into the Marquette zone to sneak one past the Marquette goaltender. The Redmen would wind up down 5-on-3 with the final :90 to play, and Alpena would tie it up with a Cam Young goal. Alpena would remain on the power play after the Young goal, and bury it in the net with :30 left off the stick of Harrison Kaszubowski.
FINAL: Alpena 4 – Marquette 3
The Marquette Redmen end their year with a regular season record of 17-6-2 and co-champions of the Great Lakes Conference. The Redmen are graduating seven seniors this year which will sorely be missed, but have a lot to look forward to with the youth on the team. Another great season for Redmen hockey is in the books. Congratulations and great job to all the student-athletes, coaches, and everyone involved in this 2022-2023 hockey season!