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Marquette splits in rematch with Pioneers

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The Marquette club hockey team split its series with the Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneers in its weekend matchup before Thanksgiving break, following its home series sweep of Lewis University. Each game had the same 4-3 score, with the Golden Eagles coming out on top Friday and losing Saturday’s rematch.

The series gave Marquette (17-7-1) a chance to heal old wounds left by last season’s 4-2 loss in the MACHA Championship against the Pioneers. While the team wasn’t able to pull out the sweep, senior assistant captain David Fabris was pleased to have another shot against one of the team’s rivals.

“Going into the games, we felt like beating them this year would allow us to get some kind of revenge on them for last season and show how much we have improved as a team,” Fabris said. “For upperclassmen, the games were huge because within the last three seasons we have lost to Platteville in the MACHA championship twice. We definitely had some bad blood against them.”

The matchups themselves were as tight as the scores suggested. Friday night, a tightly contested scoreless first period gave way to a Tyler Schwichtenberg goal and a John Stillman shot and score which gave Marquette a 2-0 lead midway through the second. But, the Pioneers responded with three goals of their own, including a third period goal with about 10 minutes left in the game.

However, the 3-2 Pioneer lead would not last long as Schwichtenberg knocked in his second goal with only four minutes left in the third period, sending the game into overtime. 10 minutes into the extra period, Stillman was able to break away and knock in the go-ahead score for the 4-3 victory.

Coach Will Jurgensen was proud of how his team handled the close matchup.

“It was one of those challenging nights for us as a team offensively, but the boys really fought hard and ended up winning it in overtime,” Jurgensen said. “It was good to see the guys battling all the way through the finish of the game and one I would chalk up as a character win.”

The Golden Eagles came out flying Saturday, with goals from sophomore Will Podewils and freshman Marc Shipbaugh giving Marquette an early 2-0 lead. However, the lead would be short-lived when a bevy of major penalties put the Pioneers in man-advantage situations in the second period. Three power-play goals, two of which came on a major penalty, gave Platteville a 3-2 lead going into the third. Platteville extended the lead with another goal midway through the third, and despite a Stillman goal late, Marquette was unable to score again and lost 4-3.

In some players’ eyes, the disappointment in the loss stemmed from a tightly called game. Fabris didn’t want to pin the result on the referees, but he was certainly not pleased with the officiating in such a close game.

“As a player and team you always hate to say the refs played a large part in the outcome of the game, but with the number of extremely questionable penalties and 10-minute game misconducts we had, this is one of those instances,” Fabris said.

Along with the questionable officiating, Jurgensen said nothing went his team’s way in Saturday’s contest.

“Saturday was a frustrating game from a team stand point because we truly couldn’t get any bounces,” Jurgensen said. “It wasn’t that the boys were playing bad, but every 50-50 puck that was out there, we lost.”

Marquette concludes the fall semester portion of their schedule with a series at Notre Dame this weekend. The Golden Eagles will be off until their Jan. 23 home series with Loyola-Chicago at the Ponds of Brookfield.

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