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Boys hockey: Plante, Tigers top Worthington

BY AARON HAGEN

The Globe

WORTHINGTON -- The Marshall boys hockey team entered Tuesday night’s game with a potent offense and the state’s leading scorer.

And for two-plus periods, Worthington goalie Preston Thavixay held them at bay.

But in the end, the Tigers were too much for the Trojans in a 6-2 victory.

“The score was 2-2 and obviously we were very happy with that,” WHS head coach Tyler Nienkerk said. “But the shots tell a little different story of what the game was. We got some really excellent goaltending by Preston. We talked a lot about how we can’t lose them in the defensive zone and that’s what happened.”

The Tigers are led by Mason Plante, who came into the game with a state-best 26 goals and is seventh in the state with 20 assists. He scored two short-handed goals in the third period to help the Tigers break out of a 2-2 tie. He added four assists in the game.

“Them being on the penalty kill almost opened up the ice for Mason, it gave him a little room to get moving,” Nienkerk said. “There’s a reason why he’s up there in the leaders for scoring in the state. He’s a heck of a player and they have some other really solid players, too. You can’t give him that time and space, you have to put a body on him and we didn’t quite do that.”

The Tigers finished with 65 shots on goal, with Thavixay collecting 59 saves. The Trojans put 12 shots on net.

“We kind of knew that going into the year that he’s the key and he’s going to need to keep us in these games,” Nienkerk said. “The guys feed off of that. They guys feel good when they know that if they make a mistake, he’s going to back them up.”

The Trojans had one shot in the first period, but made it count. With 5:03 remaining, Ryan Newman poked the puck away from a Marshall player and scored on a breakaway.

Marshall’s Bryson Whyte scored early in the second. But WHS answered as Carlos Garcia-Villatoro put back a rebound. Tommy Bauman and Kipton Jenson assisted.

But with 5:56 left, the Tigers responded as Whyte scored a short-handed goal to tie the game at 2.

“It was the same thing we said after the first and after the second, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, they are absolutely dominating the game,” Nienkerk said. “But we’re getting great goaltending and the only thing that matters is the score. It’s only one goal and and anything can happen. Obviously they are in their locker room not happy to be where they were and they came out ready to roll.”

Plante scored the first two goals of the third and Landon Frost and Jared Antony each added a goal for MHS in the third to pull away for the victory.

Marshall 0 2 4 -- 6Worthington 1 1 0 -- 2