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Marlin girls take second at state tournament

HURON -- The Mitchell Marlins were in a familiar position.

For the second straight day at the girls' varsity state hockey tournament, they needed three third-period goals in hopes to send the game to overtime.

Saturday, the Marlins trailed 4-1 headed into the third against Huron in the semifinals and rallied for a 5-4 overtime victory.

Sunday, the Sioux Falls Flyers held the Marlins scoreless in the third period to capture the state championship 4-1 at the Bergman Arena in Huron.

"Saturday in the third period we found another gear," Mitchell coach Randy Rezac said after his team received the second-place trophy. "Today, we tried to find it and we missed the shift."

This is the third consecutive year the Marlin girls' varsity team took second place at the state tournament. This year, the Marlins came in as the sixth seed and knocked off third-seeded Oahe, a team from Pierre, in the first round and defeated second-seeded Huron in the semifinals.

Mitchell's Kylie Barington had a first-period goal to knot the game at 1 for her team's lone score of the game Sunday against Sioux Falls. It came on a power play and was assisted by Haley Stahl.

The Marlins trailed 2-1 after the first period and missed scoring opportunities in the second. Sioux Falls had three penalties in the second period and gave the Marlins a 5-on-3 chance they never converted.

"That would have been huge for us," Rezac said.

Sioux Falls scored early in the second for a two-goal advantage and added another with 5:17 to play before intermission.

Mitchell goalie Hannah Spates made 28 saves in the game, including 10 in the shutout third period. But the Marlins couldn't get the puck past Sioux Falls goalie Brittany Corcoran again. She made 22 saves on 23 shots.

"We just couldn't pull it off," Marlins senior Kassi Barington said.

Mitchell was 1-for-5 on power plays in the game and Sioux Falls was 1-for-4. The Marlins ended their season 10-11-3.

"We held them scoreless in the third period, but we just couldn't overtake the momentum," said Rezac, who gave credit to his four assistant coaches, Amanda Young, Bri Prickett, Jessica Rezac and Heather Ebert, for the successful season. We're disappointed we didn't win it for the girls, but we're very proud of their effort and the way they finished the season."

Mitchell trailed 3-0 Saturday against Huron before Kylie Barington scored the Marlins' first goal of the game, coming at the 3:10 mark of the second period. Huron added another goal before the break and led 4-1 heading into the third.

Kassi Barington had an early goal in the third and Stahl had two goals to the tie game at 4. Stahls goals had assists from Kassi Barington, Kylie Barington and Bailey Hohn. At the 7:54 mark of the overtime, Kylie Barington sent the Marlins to the championship game.

Spates made 40 saves against Huron, which outshot the Marlins 43-18 in the game.

"That was an amazing feeling to win that game," Kassi Barington said.