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Boys hockey: Trojans rally twice but fall by one goal

WORTHINGTON —In an action-packed contest Tuesday evening, the visiting Marshall Tigers left the Worthington Ice Arena with a hard-fought 4-3 high school boys’ hockey victory over a Trojan squad which played hard the entire 51 minutes.

Trailing 2-0 after the game’s first nine minutes, Worthington rallied back and tied the score at 2-2 and 3-3 before Marshall scored the last goal of the contest with seven minutes and 36 seconds remaining in the third period.

“I was impressed with how hard Worthington played,” declared Marshall head coach Michael Weiss after leaving the ice following the game. “We expected a battle and it sure was. Worthington’s goalie stopped a lot of shots and we became frustrated with the quickness of their front line and how hard they skated.”

That Trojan goalie mentioned by Weiss was WHS senior Alex Purdy, who turned away 37 Tiger shots on the night, including nearly a dozen in the first six minutes of the second period when Marshall repeatedly peppered the puck towards Worthington’s goal.

But, Purdy kept the puck out of the net numerous times, including stops on hard shots by Marshall’s Alex Buysse (from the right wing) and Andrew Bell (down the middle).

But, with 5:07 remaining in that second period, Tiger senior Taylor Rasmussen — assisted by Blaine Moran and Derek Rasmussen — slipped one through, giving MHS a 3-2 edge.

Worthington rallied with a power play goal —a wrap around type of shot — by Trojan junior Alex Kremer four minutes and 26 seconds into the third period.

Kremer located a hard shot off the boards by senior teammate Zach Heidebrink and skated around the goal before shoving the puck past Marshall goalie Mason Campion to knot the score at three-all.

“We were back in the game again after Alex’s goal,” declared WHS head coach Nate Grimmius, who was pleased with his team’s effort all game long.

“We had a few mental mistakes and too many penalties in the second period when we were really skating well and had chances to score several times,” he said. “But, overall, we passed well and played good position-wise. Marshall has a very good team and we skated right with them, so I was happy with our effort.”

Johnson, Newman, Kremer score Trojan goals

Worthington scored its first goal late in the first period —with 2:10 remaining —when both teams were playing shorthanded due to penalty.

Junior forward Andrew Johnson broke free and skated fast, scoring for the Trojans on a nifty shot past Campion.

After Purdy’s strong play in the net prevented Marshall from extending its lead, Worthington tied the contest at two when junior forward Nick Newman scooped up a hard shot off the boards by sophomore defenseman Evan Eggers and slipped the puck into the net.

Newman’s goal came with 14:29 left in the second period and the score stayed tied for the next eight minutes, but there were lots of shots on goal —including a long attempt by Worthington sophomore forward Tony Lopez, which narrowly missed.

The Trojans also came close — late in the second period —when Eggers made a clean steal and shoveled the puck to senior forward Kody Honius for a nice shot.

But, Campion made a great stop, preventing a Worthington goal.

After Rasmussen and Kremer exchanged goals to keep the score knotted, Moran scored for Marshall —off an assist from Brent Haukom —nine minutes and 24 seconds into the last period.

Trailing 4-3, the Trojans continued to skate hard and had some chances to score, including a strong shot by Newman —off a pass from Johnson —which was stopped by Campion.

With just two minutes remaining, Johnson slid into the boards after a shot attempt and left the game with an elbow injury.

“Andrew took a hard spill when he hit the boards,” Grimmius said. “We hope it (the injury) is not serious. He is a very good all-around player for us.”

Tuesday’s result improved Marshall to 5-8 overall and 4-2 in the Southwest Conference, while Worthington is now 4-8 and 1-4.

The Trojans travel to Fairmont for a non-conference clash Thursday.

Marshall 2 1 1 — 4

Worthington 1 1 1 — 3