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Marlins end season with 8-3 loss to Huron

(Kevin Maiers/ Mitchell's Jacob Rice controls the puck as Huron's Nate Tomczak closes in defensively during the Marlins' 8-3 loss to the All Stars during a consolation semifinal of the South Dakota Amateur Hockey Association boys' varsity state tournament Saturday at Larson Ice Center in Brookings.

BROOKINGS -- Trailing by one headed into the second period, the Mitchell Marlins boys' varsity hockey team gave up three goals to Huron in the second and third periods at the state tournament Saturday.

The Marlins' 8-3 loss to Huron in the consolation semifinal game knocked Mitchell out of the state tournament.

"We just didn't take care of our defensive zone," Marlins coach John Lord said. "That's the most important part of the ice."

Mitchell scored one goal in each period, getting two from Jordan Grosdidier and another from Alex Thill, who started the game's scoring.

Thill and Alex Murtha each added an assist in the loss. Both teams finished with 30 shots on goal, with Marlins goalie Wes Gauger saving six of nine shots. Tate Sutherland, the team's other goalie, saved 16 of 21 shots.

Huron's Justin Ruedebusch had both of the All Stars' goals in the first period. He added another goal in the second and one in the third, finishing with four of the team's eight scores.

"He certainly was a dominance force in the game," Lord said.

Huron Goalie Parker Hook saved 27 of 30 shots and earned the win.

Since Mitchell lost its first two games at state, it did not qualify for the placing round on Sunday.

Brookings won the state title, defeating Sioux Falls 7-2 in the championship game. Oahe took third with a 5-2 win over Rushmore, and Huron took fifth with a 5-4 win over Watertown.

Mitchell finished the season 3-20 a year after winning the state championship.

"It was a tough season with wins and losses," Lord said. "But it's been one of the better seasons that we've coached, because the kids have an incredible work ethic. To lose that many games and have as much heart as they did and as much fight as they did, it's certainly a good stepping stone headed into next year."