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Marlins looking for upset victory

It's state tournament time for the Mitchell Marlin boys' varsity hockey team and coach John Lord says anything can happen.

In the past three seasons, the Marlins have come out with a higher place than they've been seeded. Last season, Mitchell was the third seed and won its second state boys' varsity title in team history.

This time around, the Marlins go into the tournament as the seventh seed, ahead of only Aberdeen. Mitchell is set to play second-seeded Sioux Falls in its opening game of the boys' varsity state hockey tournament at 3:30 p.m. today in Brookings.

The Marlins (3-18) were swept by the Flyers during the regular season.

"Every game has been close to a point, then we let a couple goals slip in and it goes into a downward spiral," Lord said. "They are certainly a team we can play with and are beatable. We've got to work hard and stay positive."

In the three games against the Flyers, the Marlins did not score a goal in the first period, something Lord said will be crucial to winning.

"We've got to come out shooting right away and not make defensive errors," he said.

Jacob Cersosimo leads the team in scoring with 11 goals this season. Alex Murtha and Jacob Rice each have seven goals for the Marlins. Jordan Grosdidier leads the team in assists with eight on the year.

Junior goalie Weston Gauger, who will get the start in today's game, has spent the majority of the season in the net for Mitchell. Gauger has saved 531 of 627 shots in 17 games played. Sophomore goalie Tate Sutherland has made 144 saves on 182 shots on goal in four games.

In order to be able to play Sunday, the third and final day of the tournament, the Marlins must win one of their first two games.

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.