Marlin boys start fast in first-round win at state tourneyFORT PIERRE — Friday’s South Dakota Amateur Hockey Association opening-round match between Mitchell and Aberdeen had barely gotten started when it was already over.
By: By CHRIS MANGAN, Pierre Capital Journal
FORT PIERRE — Friday’s South Dakota Amateur Hockey Association opening-round match between Mitchell and Aberdeen had barely gotten started when it was already over.
The Mitchell Marlins boys scored three goals in the first 1 minute, 3 seconds on their way to a 7-3 victory over the Cougars at the Expo Center in Fort Pierre.
“That was pretty amazing,” Mitchell head coach John Lord said. “It gives us a lot of confidence, but it’s something you kind of have to be careful with as well. We knew Aberdeen is a better team, and we knew they weren’t going to give up because of that. When somebody jumps up on another team three goals, they can have a tendency to back off and lay low, so, that was something I wanted to make sure my boys knew.”
Thirty-eight seconds into the opening period, Mitchell’s Spencer Lawrence lit the lamp for the first goal of the game. Less than 20 seconds later, Lawrence again found the back of the net for a 2-0 Marlins lead. Lawrence completed the hat trick about four minutes later on his way to a four-point night.
“I think (Lawrence) averages five points a game throughout the season,” Lord said. “It’s something he’s very capable of doing.”
Ben Hogan continued the onslaught with the third goal in the opening 1:03 when he beat Aberdeen’s Eric Milbrandt. Despite only having a limited number of players, Lord said the Mitchell does have some depth and the third goal showed that.
“It’s not basketball, five guys can’t do it,” Lord said. “It’s been a team effort all year. That third goal was second line.
“It’s been a team effort year.”
After a goal by Mitchell’s Taylor Herrick to open the second period, the Cougars got on the board when Dustin Santjer found the back of the net. Santjer lit the lamp again with 3:10 remaining in the second to pull the Cougars within three but Austin Loes put the game away with a goal with just over a minute remaining in the frame.
Loes scored the Marlins’ final goal, while Cameron Huff finished off the scoring for Aberdeen. The state hockey tournament continues today with Aberdeen taking on Huron at noon and Mitchell facing off against host Oahe (Pierre) at 5 p.m.
“We’re looking for a tough game. It’s tournament time,” Lord said. “We’ll be ready to go. I know they’ll be ready to go. Everything that has happened in the regular season really doesn’t matter when it comes to the state tournament.”