MELVINDALE - The Marquette Electricians broke out of their season-long slump in a huge way over the weekend, turning what had been a winless season into a three-game Northern Lights Hockey League sweep on the road.
The Local 1070 Midget AAA team defeated the Belle Tire Selects 6-2 and 8-0 on Saturday and added a 7-0 shutout Sunday to improve to 3-22-6 overall and 3-7-2 in the NLHL.
"The kids played better, and things just started clicking," Electricians coach Mark Nebel said after Saturday's second game. "We recently picked up Dusty Goupille, who played for us last year, after the high school football season ended.
"He brings in some confidence and physical play to our lineup."
This weekend, the Electricians play a nonleague series in Grand Rapids against the Michigan Nationals. Games are at 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday.
Marquette had been consistently outshot all season, but against Belle Tire had an overall shots advantage of 115-65 for the weekend.
Electricians goalies Adam Ranck, who earned two wins, and Bryce Leaf each posted a shutout.
Just two weeks earlier on Nov. 16, Belle Tire had defeated Marquette 2-0 at the Soo Greyhounds International Tournament in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
In the Electricians' 6-2 victory on Saturday morning, Goupille made his presence known quickly, notching a shorthanded goal in the first period to make it 2-0. Teammate Jacob Peterson had opened the scoring 1:04 into the game.
Hayden Rajala then scored to make it 3-0 about 7 minutes into the second period, an important goal after Belle Tire scored back-to-back goals about 3 minutes apart later in the period.
Torrin Grange added goals late in each of the second and third periods as insurance, while Mitchell Kazmierczak rounded out the scoring with a goal in the middle of the third.
Matthew Stewart, Eric Chapman and Nicholas Cammarata each had two assists, while Goupille was among those with one as Ranck made 25 saves and his teammates produced 37 shots.
In Saturday's late game, Leaf stopped 18 shots as Grange scored twice and Jayson Dahlquist picked up a three-assist playmaker.
Single goals were scored by Cammarata, Stewart, Chapman, Kazmierczak, Kyle Yates and Ethan St. Germain, while two assists were each credited to Goupille, Rajala and Chapman. Marquette held a huge 49-18 shots advantage.
On Sunday, Frazier broke a scoreless deadlock four seconds before the end of the first period, triggering a five-goal outburst in the second period.
Nicholas Franze scored goals 43 seconds apart in the first 2:07 of the middle period to open the floodgates as he and Frazier each finished with two goals. Single tallies came off the sticks of Cammarata, Kazmierczak and Chapman, while Grange had three assists and Frazier and Chapman each had two.
Ranck stopped 20 shots for the team's second consecutive shutout while his teammates put 29 shots on goal.