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Carlson wins regional title in triple OT thriller PHOTO GALLERY

  • The Carlson hockey team celebrated a 3-2 triple overtime victory for the regional title over Riverview Gabriel Richard Saturday evening. It's the furthest the Marauder program has gone in school history. (MIPrepZone Photo by Samantha Elliott)
  • Carlson's Payton Auer (22) scored the triple overtime winner Saturday evening to give his Marauders a regional title and send the team to Wednesday's MHSAA state quarterfinals. (MIPrepZone Photo by Samantha Elliott)
  • Gabriel Richard's Zach Gilreath battles with Carlson's Coty Oetjens Saturday night when the teams met in the regional final. Oetjen's Marauders won the title with a 3-2 triple overtime victory. (MIPrepZone Photo by Samantha Elliott)
  • First-year Carlson Coach Todd Steinmetz runs to his team to celebrate after Payton Auer's triple overtime goal secured a regional title for the Marauders. (MIPrepZone Photo by Samantha Elliott)
  • Richard's John Ames (3) takes the puck up the ice Saturday evening in the regional final. Unfortunately for Ames and his Pioneers, they fell 3-2 in triple OT to Carlson. (MIPrepZone Photo by Samantha Elliott)

Game Info

Hockey - Boys - 3/5/2016 5:20 p.m.

Gibraltar Carlson 3
Riverview Gabriel Richard 2

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Talk about an overtime thriller.

The Carlson and Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey teams played to three overtimes in Saturday’s regional final.

Yes, three.

Payton Auer was the unsung hero for his team, scoring two unanswered goals and propelling his Marauders to a 3-2 victory.

The goal secured a regional title for Carlson and secured the team a trip to the MHSAA state quarterfinals for the first time in school history.

It came just over a minute into the triple overtime.

Brendan Meadows got the set up behind the net.

He got the puck to Auer who got it through the traffic and the game was done.

“Meadows threw it out front to me, it got caught in my skates and I just put a shot on net and it went in,” Auer said. “We won the game.

“It was a tough game and it was a grind the whole time … we fought our hardest and we got rewarded.”

The goal was Auer’s second of the night.

With 12:50 to go in the third period, he scored on the power play for a goal that tied the game and eventually forced overtime.

The teams combined for three goals in the opening period before things cooled off in the second.

Noah Locke got the scoring started almost immediately when he found the back of the net 45 seconds in.

Just past the midway point, Brendan Holbird put the Pioneers on the board and tied the game with a nice slip into the open corner.

Four minutes later, Josh Wiseman gave Richards its 2-1 lead that held to the third period.

The Marauders were used to a comeback; Saturday was their third straight playoff game that went down that way.

“We came out and we lost the first period again,” Carlson Coach Todd Steinmetz said. “It seems like they just play better with their backs against the wall.”

Steinmetz knew his team had it in them and encouraged them to visualize and stay focused.

“You’ve gotta be mentally sharp,” he said. “It comes down to whoever wants it more.”

Richard Coach Ricky DeSana was naturally disappointed with the season-ending loss, but not his team’s effort or season.

“That’s why kids play high school hockey is for this environment and the excitement,” he said. “That puck could have went in either way.

“I’m proud of our team, our year and the effort that we had and I congratulate them. They did a good job and worked hard.”

With a strong core of veterans returning next year, DeSana is optimistic about the future.

“With 12 underclassmen coming back, we’re really excited,” he said. “We should be equal or better.”

The Marauders take their win and head to Yost Arena in Ann Arbor for the MHSAA quarter finals on Wednesday.

“We’re halfway there,” Steinmetz said. “They’ve got their work cut out still, (but) three more to go.

“I’ve ingrained that into their heads. We’re halfway.”

Puck drops at 8:00 in Ann Arbor against Chelsea.

Last Updated: 3/5/2016 11:54:39 PM EST