Kinnison’s goal sends Duchesne past Marquette into Wickenheiser finals
By: Jonathan Duncan
It was a battle to the end but the Duchesne hockey team found a way to keep going and in the process end the Marquette Mustangs season.
Thanks to a Steven Kinnison breakaway goal with 3 minutes 56 seconds left in a mini-game, the Pioneers won their Wickenheiser Cup semifinal series 2-1 Sunday night at Hardees Ice Plex in Chesterfield.
Duchesne, which improved to 20-8-3, will face off against Wentzville Holt on Monday March, 4 at Scottrade Center for the Wickenheiser Cup Championship.
“Well, we were waiting for an opportunity,” Kinnison said. “They (Marquette) were getting a quite a few of them and we were tossing pucks around Sam and I saw an opportunity, I went for it and he always usually finds me and always makes a good pass. Got up, found an opening and put it in there.”
Kinnison’s goal was set up by great assist off a superb lead pass from John Hoemeyer that created Kinnison’s open chance on goal.
While Kinnison was making big plays on the front end of the ice, it was Duchesne keeper Ted Bunton who stood tall between the pipes as Bunton turned away seven shots in the mini-game after being peppered with 36 shots in game two.
Eighth-seeded Duchesne went up 1-0 on a Tommy Haeffner goal at the 12:34 mark of the third period.
That lead vanished in the middle of the period as Marquette’s offense flipped the switch with two goals in just over a minute.
Alex Henricks slapped home an unassisted goal to tie it with 6:24 to go. Then, Nick Tobey fired a wrist shot by Bunton with 5:10 remaining.
“We started the game down a goal and a tie doesn’t help us,” Marquette coach Ryan Kane said. “So, when we got down a goal, we actually needed two. I was proud of the boys for battling back. They really did.”
Marquette (9-18-2) held the Pioneers to 24 shots in the second game and outshot Duchesne 7-6 in the mini-game.
Despite out shooting Duchesne in both games, the Mustangs offense just couldn’t seem to find the back of the net in the mini-game when needed.
“I thought they stepped it up and played the last 10 or 12 minutes really hard,” Kane said. “They actually played a pretty good second period too but we just couldn’t bury the puck. It wasn’t in the cards tonight I guess.”
The win for Duchesne puts to rest a crazy weekend of hockey that saw the Pioneers need to play win four games in five days to advance.
Duchesne beat Fort Zumwalt West twice on Friday and then won two of three from Marquette in just over a day.
“We got a tired bunch of hockey players and a bunch of sore guys,” Duchesne coach Dan Rupp said. “We got beat up a little bit but that was the schedule and you know what, we did it.”
Holt, the number 12 seed is no stranger to the Pioneers, Duchesne defeated them 7-3 back in January.