UPDATED: Wildcats top Blue Devils after shootout
ALPENA — The Alpena High hockey team successfully completed another comeback win on Friday. The Wildcats took on Sault Ste. Marie and ended up winning with a final score of 4-3 after topping the Blue Devils in a shootout.
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 Anden 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.
Jaden 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 goal.
“It was a great shot, high over the block, and was just in the perfect place,” Alpena coach Ben Henry said. “(Aiden) Schultz made eight straight saves which was just incredible. It was great to see him step up like that, so hopefully that continues into tomorrow.”
Alpena is 2-0 on the season and is hoping to continue that pace going into Saturday’s game against Kingsford.
“Although we got the win we needed to be better,” Henry said. “We need to improve defensively. We’re not very good on our own end, so we need to be better on that going forward.”
Alpena got off to a great start, forcing many shots on goal early and continuously putting pressure on the Blue Devils’ goalie. Finally, after numerous shots, Alpena snuck the puck into Sault Ste. Marie’s goal.
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 Harrison Kaszubowski and Reid 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 Michael Kreis set up the goal and received credit for the assist on Hamp’s goal.
The Blue Devils stepped up and put forth an incredible effort to come back.
The score remained 2-0 in favor of Alpena going into the third period, but that soon changed.
Randen Blair got things started for the Blue Devils after he recorded a goal with 16:30 left in the third period. Blair’s goal was assisted by Avery Wilson which put Sault down 2-1.
With 10:16 left in the third period, the Blue Devils tied it up. Cayd Escherich scored one of the most important goals in the game, tying it up at 2-2.
The Wildcat’s defense continued to play poorly and it got even worse after it allowed its third straight unanswered goal. Nicholas Wood scored the goal for the Blue Devils after a spectacular assist from Blair with 9:18 remaining in the game.
Alpena still had nine minutes left in the game which was plenty of time for them to tie it back up. 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.