MARQUETTE - Forest Folker and Shawn Cornock made sure the Marquette Senior High School hockey team opened its season on the right foot Friday night.
Folker scored three goals and Cornock had two as the Redmen downed visiting Hancock, 5-2, at Lakeview Arena.
Both players chipped in an assist and MSHS goaltender Evan Kyle made 23 saves in a game the Redmen broke open in the third period.
Marquette's Forest Folker (24) moves the puck into the Hancock zone shortly before scoring the Redmen's second goal as Hancock's Matthew Sanregret (left) attempts to defend in the second period at the Lakeview Arena in Marquette on Friday. (Journal photo by Zach Jay)
Dylan Hanke and Casey Nicholas notched third period goals for Hancock.
"For our first game (of the season), I'd give us a B," Marquette coach Mike L'Huillier said. "This team will have a learning experience every game.
"Defensively, we need some work. We had a hard time getting the puck out of our end. I didn't like how we forechecked in the first two periods, either.
"But in the third, I was pleased with our forecheck and how ... we picked up people in front of the net," he added.
A left winger, Folker said it has been "a long time" since he had scored three goals in one game.
"I've been a defenseman my entire life. I've gotten assists but have never been much of a goal scorer," he said. "It felt good."
Hancock dominated much of the first two periods, save for 19 seconds midway through the middle stanza. That's when blueliner Cornock drove a shot home from the point and Folker stole a puck in the Bulldogs' zone before scoring.
"I lifted a kid's stick and took the puck," he recalled. "I just shot the puck and hoped for the best."
Kyle was a major reason why Hancock was kept off the scoreboard early, making 18 saves in the first two periods.
A pair of saves on Nicholas, and another on a shot by Danny Hill, highlighted Kyle's performance.
"He coughed up the puck a couple of times early, but he's so much improved on his rebounds," L'Huillier said of his senior goaltender. "He was a big factor tonight."
Folker fueled a three-goal surge by the Redmen in the third period by sandwiching two markers around another hard shot by Cornock from the point that found the Hancock net.
"On the first (goal in the period), (linemate) Justin (Cain) did all the work," Folker said. "The other one, I got a burst of energy, went in and scored. I didn't know I had (the moves) in me."
Both of Cornock's goals came on slap shots.
"He's a good player," L'Huillier said. "He's a smooth skater and shoots the puck on net."
Hanke ruined Kyle's shutout bid with 7:51 left, then Nicholas finally solved the MSHS netminder with an unassisted marker after several stick-handling moves with 1:58 remaining.
"I thought we played decent in the first period and even better in the second, but we come out with a two-goal deficit," Hancock coach Dan Rouleau said. "It's just the way games go sometimes."
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is email@example.com.