Marquette upends MICDS, advances to Wickenheiser Cup semifinals
By: Jonathan Duncan
The Marquette Mustangs are moving on in the Wickenheiser Cup playoffs and the Mary Institute/Country Day School Rams are packing up for the winter.
Down 1-0 in the third period in, Mitch Runyon scored a goal with 3:29 left and then in the final seconds of play, Nick Nast scored an empty-net goal lifting the Mustangs to a 2-1 victory in game two of their Wickenheiser Cup quarterfinal series Saturday night at Hardees IcePlex in Chesterfield.
Marquette (8-16), which defeated MICDS 5-1 on Thursday advances to play the winner of the Fort Zumwalt West-Duchesne series in the semifinal round at a date to be announced next week.
“I think tonight kind of epitomized the whole season,” Runyon said. “We’ve been playing some really tough teams and tonight is just how the season has gone. We’ve stayed strong, fought back and never give up.”
MICDS (12-12) had been a scrappy bunch as well. Despite stumbling and losing game one by four goals, the Rams led by standout keeper Cameron Gornet were much tougher from start to finish but could manage just a late goal against Marquette keeper Michael Robinson.
“Thursday night we did not play our game, we did not play MICDS hockey,” MICDS coach Kyle Webb said. “We played our game tonight and gave ourselves the best shot to win it.”
The teams banged and battled through the first and second periods with no luck in finding the back of the net.
Then after just over 42 minutes of physical, bruising hockey, MICDS found a way onto the scoreboard.
Dalton Heimenz popped in a shot just past Robinson with 4:17 left and the Rams had a chance to extend the series with a 1-0 lead.
48 seconds later, that lead vanished in a blink of an eye as Runyon dashed in from near center ice into the MICDS zone and fired home a shot from the left point for a goal squaring the count at 1-1.
In the final minute of regulation, the Rams pulled Gornet from the goal for the extra attacker to try and go for the win and the move backfired.
“We had the defenseman Runyon jumped in and picked up that loose puck and put it home, so it was good to get that one back right away,” Marquette coach Ryan Kane said.
Nast moved in from the right side in the final seconds and popped in an empty-netter and the celebration was on for the Marquette bench and fans.
“Even though we knew we were going to win it at the end, it still felt good to put that away because that was like a last-minute things that will probably give us some more confidence,” Nast said.
The Fort Zumwalt West-Duchesne series continues with game two on Monday night. Fort Zumwalt West won game one 2-0 on Saturday night.