Club hockey finishes second in Cincinnati tournament

Photo courtesy of Marquette Hockey Team
Photo courtesy of Marquette Hockey Team

The Marquette club hockey team finished with a 2-2 record against stiff competition in its four-game road trip to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Friday night, the Golden Eagles beat Miami (FL) 6-3. Marquette knocked off the Hurricanes, who played in last year’s national tournament. The team followed Friday’s win with a 7-1 thrashing of host Xavier Saturday. The tournament finale was a 5-2 loss at the hands of the Oakland Golden Grizzlies, ranked No. 14 in the Division 1 American Collegiate Hockey Association rankings.

The Friday matchup against Miami put Marquette (5-3) up against one of the better teams in the nation. Marquette and Miami were tied at three until the third period, when the Golden Eagles pulled away, scoring three unanswered goals. Senior Tyler Schwichtenberg led the way with two goals on the day.

Saturday’s opening game was a rematch of last year’s thumping by Xavier. In what was a carbon copy of Friday’s matchup, the Golden Eagles pulled away in the third period, scoring four of their seven goals in the final frame. Sophomore Kellan Buddy scored his first goal of the year on a shot from the blue-line.

“Last year, Xavier came and swept Marquette here in Milwaukee, so we were certainly looking for a little redemption in their own barn and redemption is exactly what we got,” coach Will Jurgensen said.

Saturday’s late game featured Marquette’s best individual performance of the weekend. Although Oakland scored two goals in the first five minutes, junior goaltender Thomas Place stopped an astounding 48 shots on the afternoon. However, the performance wasn’t enough and the Golden Eagles lost 5-2.

With a 2-1 record and owning the tiebreaker of fewest goals against, Marquette clinched a spot in the final, playing Oakland once again. After holding the Golden Grizzlies to a scoreless first period, the Golden Eagles gave up two quick goals in the second. The two goals opened the flood gates, and Marquette eventually lost 10-0.

But despite losing handily in the championship game, Jurgensen viewed the game as simply a bump in the road in a long season.

“It was quite a difficult thing to watch because we are such a better team, but we had a really off day,” Jurgensen said.

Senior Matthew Vuoncino echoed a similar sentiment from both of their showings against Oakland.

“Ultimately, I don’t believe the score differential does justice to our team,” Vuoncino said. “We realized we can play with anyone when we stick to our game plan.  That being said, we still have work to do if we want to beat the best teams in country.”

The Golden Eagles return to their home ice this weekend to face Illinois State, with the first game Friday at 7:10 p.m.