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Marlins to play Sioux Falls in first round of state girls hockey tourney

The Mitchell Marlins will play the home team on its home ice to start the state girls hockey tournament. And they are relishing that opportunity. No. 6 seed Mitchell (7-13-1) will play No. 3 Sioux Falls (15-6-0) at 4:45 p.m. today in the first ro...

The Mitchell Marlins will play the home team on its home ice to start the state girls hockey tournament.

And they are relishing that opportunity.

No. 6 seed Mitchell (7-13-1) will play No. 3 Sioux Falls (15-6-0) at 4:45 p.m. today in the first round of the South Dakota girls hockey tournament.

The Marlins have not fared well against the Flyers this season, having gone 0-3 against them.

"It will be a tough game," Mitchell coach Dennis Schley said. "I definitely think they are beatable. We have to come out ready to play. We are playing the home team on their home ice at the state tournament. A normally tough game will be even tougher because they will be pumped up, ready to go."

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Schley said the team looks forward to playing the underdog role.

"I am looking forward to it. I think the team is, too," Schley said. "As we talked as a team here at last night's practice, there is nothing like going into a tournament playing the first game against a home team and knocking them off the first round. That would be a great win for us."

Schley said the Marlins will focus on playing strong defense against the Flyers, while also trying to generate more offense. Schley said the team has struggled offensively down the stretch, but they have switched things around recently.

"We changed a couple little things around with just some of our concepts and it seemed to have worked against Pierre the last time we played them last Sunday," Schley said. "It just kind of looked like it is going to work for us. We will see what happens."

Jenna Grosdidier leads the Marlins in points (23), goals (15) and is tied for the team lead in assists (eight).

"She is a big driving force on the offense," Schley said. "Now with Grace Halvorson back and healthy again, she's really turned it on here as of late. We look for those two to kind of turn it up and everybody else is coming around a little bit toward the end of the year here."

Halvorson has recorded seven goals and five assists on the year.

Katelyn Uithoven is Mitchell's top goalie. She has 528 saves and three shutouts this season.

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"She is our wall back there," Schley said. "She is an underrated goalie just because we don't have the wins like everybody else. She is definitely a good goalie in this league."

South Dakota Girls Varsity Hockey Tournament

Today's First Round Pairings

No. 1 Aberdeen vs. No. 8 Sioux Center, 8 p.m. (Feature Rink)

No. 4 Oahe vs. No. 5 Rushmore, 5:30 p.m. (Feature Rink)

No. 3 Sioux Falls vs. No. 6 Mitchell, 4:45 p.m. (Zueger Rink)

No. 2 Brookings vs. No. 7 Watertown, 7 p.m. (Zueger Rink)

Related Topics: HOCKEY
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