One loss and one of the best goalies in state versus a team with a three game losing streak, including a loss from the night before and a long, late bus ride home. Everything was in place for Rochester Lourdes to take home a victory against Duluth Marshall.
But what the Eagles weren’t expecting was for Christian Coffman to stop 29 of 30 shots and for Jordan Shockley to score twice en route to 5-1 Hilltoppers win.
Coffman faced fifteen shots in the second period, giving up his only goal of the game less than a minute into the period at the hands of Landon Farrell. Duluth Marshall on the other hand, only had four shots on net the whole period – yet they scored on two of those shots.
“Today wasn’t too good for us, we didn’t really have the big boys show up today” said Lourdes head coach Josh Spaniol, “You come all the way up here to play a good team like Marshall and for them not to show up today it’s not a good deal for us.”
The Eagles were outshot 13-5 in the first period, and headed to the locker room down 1-0 from Shockley’s first goal.
“We just tried to wake them up a little bit and get them moving their feet” coach Spaniol told his team during the first intermission, “It’s a one to nothing game, the game is not over. We came out on fire and got some good shots. We could have turned the game around but their goalie was very good.”
Shockley scored his second goal with less than ten minutes to play in the second period, which was the eventual game winner. Mac Dow scored with 1:19 left in the period to give the Hilltoppers a 3-1 lead going into the final period.
“We’ve been stressing the past couple games, we just needed to get the puck to the net” said Shockley, “We need to get more shots to the net; we’re doing too much cycling, which is good but we’re not going to score unless we get the puck to the net.”
The third period saw no scoring until 1:11 left to play when Zach Isaacson scored the first of two empty net goals. The second empty net goal came with 19 seconds left as Steve Long scored his first goal of the season to make it a 5-1 game in favor of the Hilltoppers.
“I was very pleased with our performance” said Duluth Marshall head coach Brendan Flaherty, “The coaching staff got what we were looking for today because the kids were playing better without the puck. Our penalty kill has been outstanding the last two games. We didn’t allow a power play goal against Grand Rapids last night or to Rochester Lourdes tonight.”
The Hilltoppers took home a loss in Grand Rapids and didn’t get home until late Friday night. Coach Flaherty knew his players had a daunting task of getting little sleep before an afternoon game the very next day, but Flaherty had little to do when he arrived at the rink the next day.
“They were jacked up themselves” said coach Flaherty, “We didn’t get home until midnight and I’m sure they didn’t get to sleep until 1 A.M. and then we’re back here at noon. But they’re 17, 18 year old kids and they’re resilient. They showed a lot of resilience today in the game and our goaltending was very solid.”
It was a big win for the Hilltoppers for several different reasons. The win came against the fourth ranked Eagles, who only had one loss on the season, and it snapped a three game losing streak.
“We came out flying and we lost our last three so we wanted to come out with a ‘W’ and break that losing streak” said Jordan Shockley.
Coach Flaherty was happy with his team’s turnaround from the loss the night before, and a way he got his players ready for the Rochester Lourdes game was to tell them to not be worried about the loss.
“The work ethic is up and that’s how we’ve got to play” explained coach Flaherty, “We believe our schedule is second to none in single A, so we’re not going to win all of our games. We’re more concerned with the compete level of the kids, not so much about the win-loss.”
1. Jordan Shockley, Duluth Marshall
Shockley scored Duluth Marshall’s first two goals of the game giving his team a 2-1 lead. Shockley’s second goal would be the eventual game winner and his season point total is now at 22 points.
2. Christian Coffman, Duluth Marshall
Coffman stopped 29 of 30 shots to help keep the Toppers ahead of the number four ranked Eagles. Coffman’s record on the season is now 4-4-1.
3. Zach Isaacson, Duluth Marshall
Isaacson scored a goal and netted an assist in the 5-1 win. Isaacson assisted on the game winning goal and scored the first of two empty net goals to put Rochester Lourdes away for good.