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Senior forward Matt Resch carries the puck toward the net during the first period against Fergus Falls at the Runestone Community Center on Tuesday night. Resch scored a goal and assisted on another during the period to help the Cardinals jump out to an early 3-0 lead and never look back on their way to their fourth straight win of the season. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

Cards cruising early on

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Ryan Marciniak scored two goals Tuesday to lead the Alexandria boys’ hockey team to a 5-0 win at home against conference rival Fergus Falls.

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The Cardinals used a suffocating forecheck to keep the puck in the offensive zone for most of the game, outshooting Fergus Falls 29-10. Head coach Ian Resch said he especially saw good play in the first period as Alexandria scored three times on 22 shots.

“We were moving the puck in the first period. We want to come out of our zone a little cleaner and a little quicker and gain momentum through the neutral ice,” Resch said. “We did that in the first period and we got a lot of shots off it and scored three goals.”

Marciniak scored a minute into the game and added a second goal on the power play at 13:19. Matt Resch also scored on the power play with 10 seconds left to give Alexandria a 3-0 lead.

The second period was a different story as Fergus Falls outshot Alexandria 5-1. Penalties did not help as the Cardinals spent 10 minutes in the penalty box.

Resch said he would have liked to see the team move the puck better and take fewer penalties in the middle of the game.

“In the second, we kind of got away from our game plan a little bit, hanging on to the puck and taking some penalties,” Resch said. “We kind of lost the tempo and the flow.”

Alexandria was able to make its one shot count as Brady Bast scored his third goal of the season for a 4-0 lead. Bast said the team is benefiting offensively from the extra pressure they have been producing this year.

“It’s a whole new ballgame in our offensive zone,” Bast said. “It’s just always get the puck out of the zone and try and play as little time in the defensive zone as possible.”

Alexandria was able to regain the momentum in the third period, and Jack Steffl capped the scoring off for the Cardinals with two seconds left in the game.

Goaltender Sam Goetsch picked up his first shutout of the season, stopping all 10 shots on goal.

Despite finishing with a lopsided victory, Alexandria still reflected on its play in the second period. The Cardinals will work on keeping its offensive pressure on through the entire game.

“We got the W tonight, but we know we didn’t play our best game,” Marciniak said. “That’s just one thing we’re going to have to work on, is playing at the high level we played at in the first couple of games.”

Alexandria also picked up five penalties Tuesday for a total of 12 minutes. Resch said he would like to see the team cut down on the number of penalties as the season progresses.

“A little bit of it is physical play, a little is us losing our cool a little bit,” he said.” We’ve got to nip that stuff down, but we’ll learn from it and we’re a good team when we’re five-on-five and stay out of the box. When we start taking penalties that just hurts our team.”

Alexandria is now 4-0 this season, with three wins coming against Central Lakes Conference opponents. The Cardinals faced conference opponent Willmar on the road Thursday, yesterday, before returning home this Saturday for a game against St. Cloud Cathedral at the Runestone Community Center.

GAME RESULTS

FERGUS FALLS 0 0 0 – 0

ALEXANDRIA 3 1 1 – 5

SHOTS – ALEXANDRIA – 22, 1, 6 – 29; FERGUS FALLS – 2, 5, 3 – 10

SCORING – FIRST PERIOD – Alexandria – Ryan Marciniak (Matt Resch, Christian Canavati), 1:00; Marciniak (PP) (Parker Revering), 13:19; Resch (PP) (Canavati), 16:50

SECOND PERIOD – Alexandria – Brady Bast (PP) (Canavati), 13:58

THIRD PERIOD – Alexandria – Jack Steffl, 16:58

GOALTENDING – Alexandria – Sam Goetsch – 10 saves on 10 shots; Fergus Falls – Andrew MacFarlane – 24 saves on 29 shots

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Blaze Fugina
Blaze Fugina is the sports editor at the Pierce County Herald. Before working at the Herald, Blaze was a sports reporter at the Alexandria Echo Press for one year and 10 months. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.
(715) 273-4334
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