Weary Wildcats lose twice at home on Saturday

News Photo by James Andersen Alpena’s Anden Marceau (10) battles for control of the puck along the boards with Petoskey’s Derek Hebner during the first period of a hockey game on Saturday at Northern Lights Arena.

ALPENA–A good start turned into a nightmarish finish for the Alpena High School hockey team on Saturday.

Up 3-0 on the Bay City Wolves after one period, the Wildcats watched their lead slowly disappear and watched Bay City pull ahead.

At the end of the night, it meant an 8-5 loss at Northern Lights Arena and two losses on the day after the Wildcats dropped a Big North Conference contest to Petoskey, 4-2, in the afternoon.

Alpena (0-6-1) led Bay City 5-3 after two periods, but the Wolves scored twice in the first three minutes of the final stanza to tie the game.

By the time Gunnar Weber scored from the slot with 7:35 left, momentum had shifted squarely to the Wolves.

“It was two games in one. I thought (in) the first period we were great, obviously had the lead and had some chances to extend on it,” Alpena coach Chris Limback said. “Then you saw the second and third period we were on our heels and they had momentum.”

Cody Deneut had a hat trick for Bay City and the Wolves got goals from six different players in the win.

Anden Marceau and Blaise Keller each had two goals for Alpena and Matt Thompson had a single tally.

The Wolves added a pair of empty-net goals in the final two minutes to ice the game.

Bay City outshot Alpena 29-15 for the game and controlled the second half of the contest. After scoring three goals on 10 shots in the opening period, Alpena managed five shots in the final two frames.

“We just didn’t put the pressure on them and they came out and just changed the momentum,” Limback said. “One of those tough learning lessons.”

Thompson, Marceau and Keller each had a goal for the Wildcats in the first period.

Bay City made it 3-1 early in the second period with a shot from just inside the blue line. Mareceau responded quickly however and gave Alpena a 4-1 lead with a blast with 13:16 left.

The Wolves kept the pressure on and added two goals in the final 6:18 to make it 4-3. The Wolves connected on a shot from the left circle with 6:18 left and scored again with 1:57 left, converting a rebound.

Keller gave Alpena a two-goal lead again with 1:10 remaining after a shorthanded breakaway goal, but Alpena’s lead didn’t last for long.

With traffic in front of the net, Deneut scored 59 seconds into the third period and Weber lit the lamp a short time later to tie the game.

Alpena had several good chances against Petoskey, but painfully short of converting, especially late in the game.

Jack Steinke and Jack Rea each had a goal for the Wildcats, who trailed 1-0 after one period and 3-1 after two frames.

Trailing 3-1 late in the third period, Alpena missed several strong chances. Keller missed at the doorstep on a pass from Marceau. A short time after that, a rebound bounced off the board with Marceau skating toward the crease, but he couldn’t play it. Ben Nowak was then denied on a breakaway chance with about 11:23 remaining.

Earlier in the period, Alpena came up empty on the power-play, including nearly a minute of 5-on-3 time.

Garrett Bouschor scored two goals for Petoskey and Dylan Robinson and Jordan Troxel had single tallies.

Petoskey struck quickly after Bouschor scored less than four minutes into the game. The Northmen took a 2-0 lead in the opening minute of the second period with a goal from Troxel.

The Northmen went up by three goals less than a minute later when Robinson banged in a rebound into a wide open net.

Aidan Schultz made 29 saves for Alpena and played well, despite the final score. After being peppered with shots in the opening minutes of the second period, Schultz finished the frame strong. He made several point blank stops in the closing minutes of the period, including a breakaway stop on Ethan Decker.

Alpena finally got on the board with 8:44 left in the second period. Rea lit the lamp for the first time this season to make it 3-1 and Nowak got an assist.

Steinke made it 4-2 with 9:53 left in the game. From just inside the blue line, Steinke threw a shot at the net that went right past Petoskey goaltender Tyler Lafaive.

Alpena hosts Gaylord on Wednesday.


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