Wildcats beat Sault Ste. Marie, Kingsford in weekend tilts

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Alpena’s Anden Marceau handles the puck during a game against Kingsford on Saturday at Northern Lights Arena.

ALPENA — The Alpena High hockey team continued its win streak on Saturday.

Following a game on Friday that went down to the wire, the Wildcats were looking to bounce back with a dominant win. Alpena did just that, defeating Kingsford 4-0 at Northern Lights Arena

“We were a different team tonight for sure. We were clean in the D-zone, we moved pucks quickly, and we got a lot of shots on the net. We definitely played much better than last night,” Alpena coach Ben Henry said.

Alpena improved to 3-0 with the win, having previously defeated Sault Ste. Marie 4-3 in a shootout on Friday.

The Wildcats’ key to success was its ability to pressure the Flivvers net all afternoon. Alpena maintained control of the puck during most of the first period and got on the board early.

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Alpena’s Cam Young handles the puck near the front of the net Saturday against Kingsford at Northern Lights Arena.

With 12:55 left in the first period, Harrison Kaszubowski recorded the first goal of the game after a great pass from Michael Kreis, giving the Wildcats a 1-0 lead early.

Both Kingsford and Alpena began to settle in defensively, until halfway through the second period when Brody Thompson added to Alpena’s lead. Thompson’s goal extended the lead to 2-0 and was assisted by Garrett Hamp and Kaszubowski.

By the end of the second period, the Wildcats forced over 30 shots on Kingsford’s net.

Eventually, after several more shot attempts, another one found its mark. This time with 10:56 left in the third period, Cam Young received credit on the goal with an assist from both Reid Meinhardt and Anden Marceau.

With 6:31 left until the end of the game, the lead increased. Jayden Marchlewski scored the final goal of the game. Marchlewski’s goal was assisted by Easton Schultz.

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Alpena’s Harrison Kaszubowski fires a shot at the net during a game against Kingsford at Northern Lights Arena on Saturday.

“(Being) 3-0 is a great start to the season, but we still have to keep building and get better and better. It’s obviously nice to get a win and we are doing a lot of the little things right,” Henry said. “One place we could improve is getting more people in front of the net when we’re shooting and we still could improve on getting the puck to the boards a little quicker.”

One notable change in Alpena’s lineup was in goal where Jonathon Rensberry had a spectacular performance in his season debut.

“I decided we should give both goalies a shot. We have two really good goalies, so I told both of them at the beginning of the weekend we were gonna split games, win or loss, and see what happens from there,” Henry said.

On Friday, Alpena prevailed over the Blue Devils after Marchlewski scored in the ninth round of the shootout.

Marceau, Hamp, and Kaszubowski scored in regulation for Alpena.

News Photo by James Andersen Alpena’s Cam Young (19) drives to the net during a game on Friday against Sault Ste. Marie at Northern Lights Arena. The Wildcats defeated Sault Ste. Marie 4-3 in a shootout on Friday and beat Kingsford 4-0 on Saturday to improve to 3-0.

The shootout went to nine rounds and got off to a great start for both teams. Sault’s Reid Wilson took his shot and drilled it right through the net. Alpena needed to match that by sending out Marceau first, who struck his shot perfectly into the net, tying the game again.

Great goalie play from both teams was apparent after both goalies saved the next seven shots in a row.

Marchlewski was the hero for the Wildcats. Finally, on Alpena’s ninth attempt, Marchlewski won the game with a phenomenal shot that got past Sault’s goalie.

“It was a great shot, high over the block, and was just in the perfect place,” Henry said. “(Aiden) Schultz made eight straight saves which was just incredible.”

Coming off of a hat trick in his last game, Marceau kept up right where he left off. Marceau’s goal came with 12:49 left in the first period and was assisted by both Kaszubowski and Meinhardt.

Just 15 seconds later, Alpena extended its lead to 2-0. This time, Garrett Hamp put the puck through the net and gave the Wildcats all the momentum for the rest of the first period. Cam Young and Kreis set up the goal and received credit for the assist on Hamp’s goal.

Alpena led 2-0 after two periods, but Sault scored three unanswered goals and took the lead with 9:18 left after a goal from Nicholas Wood.

Even though the momentum wasn’t with the Wildcats, Kaszubowski came in clutch and managed to tie the game with only four minutes left.

Marceau and Meinhardt assisted Kaszubowkski’s goal which brought the game to a shootout after regular time expired.


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