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HOCKEY: Graham solid in net as Marauders shut out Titans

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At the end of every hockey battle there has to be a winner.

Saturday’s SEHL showcase game between Carlson and Anderson was definitely a battle and in the end it was the Marauders who came away with the 2-0 victory.

It was a strong defensive battle all night long, but Carlson’s Ellis Graham proved to be the player of the game, stopping 34 shots in the shutout victory, while Anderson’s Donavin Alderman stopped 14.

It was a scoreless opening period with the momentum and scoring chances flip flopping between the two throughout the 17 minutes.

It was a similar situation in the second and Carlson got a scoring chance early but hit the post and the teams stayed scoreless.

The teams continued to trade off minutes of momentum and pressure and it was Carlson that stuck first.

With 10:02 left to play the Marauders were deep in the Anderson zone and working hard. Austin Jarinski worked his way through the traffic in front of the net and put the puck over Alderman’s shoulder for the 1-0 Carlson advantage.

With 3:38 left to play, Anderson had a scoring chance on a wrap around play, but Graham quickly swung from one side of the net to the other to stop the threat and the score held up through the end of the second.

The final period was again much of the same and the Carlson defense made arguably the save of the game.

With 7:56 to go, the puck was shot over Graham’s shoulder and landed behind the goalie. Through a big mix of traffic and confusion, the defenders managed to get the puck out and clear it.

Carlson took a late penalty and then Anderson pulled its goalie, but it was again the Marauders who struck.

Gage Darga picked up the puck heading to the Titan zone, worked his way around the Titan defenders and shot the puck straight into the empty net to seal the game with 27.5 seconds to go.

It was a sweet win for the Marauders who were knocked off by Anderson in overtime last season.

“I thought the kids played well,” Carlson Coach Dennis Gundick said. “They stuck to their game plan.

“They were fired up. We knew this was a big game. Southgate’s a good team and we knew it.”

Gundick was pleased with the team’s defensive efforts in the win.

“The defense I thought made smarter decisions than they have in the last couple games,” he said. “The support was there.”

Even with the win, Gundick still wants to see more progress out of his offense.

“Unfortunately, our passes aren’t there,” he said. “We’ve gotta work on our tape to tape passes.

“I’d like to see our offense shoot a little bit more. We’ve been working on that in practice; if you get a window of opportunity, you’ve gotta take it and I don’t think we took those windows of opportunity today.”

Anderson Coach Pat Jesue was disappointed with the loss, but not with his team’s effort.

“I thought it was some pretty good up and down action,” he said. “I thought we played a pretty good game tonight.

“Their goalie did a good job for them; the kid did a great job down there.”

The Titans are averaging a goal and a half a game right now and Jesue would like to see things improve heading forward.

“I’m not upset, but at the same time, these guys are staring to work really hard,” he said. “Not that they haven’t worked hard before, but they’re working harder and we’ve gotta catch a break. But at the same time, we’ve gotta create our breaks. We’re still taking a few shortcuts.

“I don’t think our record is indicative of what our club is.”

With just over a month left of the season, each teams will now focus on the last few weeks before districts.

“It’s crunch time,” Gundick said. “We work for the regionals and now let’s build ourselves up to each level.”

Last Updated: 1/12/2014 3:00:53 PM EST