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Marciniak takes center stage

Ryan Marciniak (right) celebrates his first of two goals in the first period with teammate Alec Wosepka on Tuesday against Fergus Falls. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

The Cardinals have received everything a team could ask for from its starting center through four games this season.

Junior center Ryan Marciniak is a big reason why Alexandria has won its first four games, scoring five goals and adding two assists. Head coach Ian Resch said the team expects him to put up some big numbers on the first line this year.

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“That’s what we expect out of Ryan, he’s our first line center and he’s good around the net,” Resch said. “He knows his role and he takes pride in it, works hard at it.”

As a sophomore, Marciniak was second on the team with 12 goals in 24 games last season. His success has his teammates noticing the offensive potential that Marciniak brings to the team on a nightly basis. Senior forward Brady Bast has been impressed with Marciniak stepping into a top-line role as a junior.

“He’s a great player,” said Bast, who is second on the team with five points. “He’s a junior still and he’s a really solid player all around.”

After scoring two goals in a 5-0 win Tuesday against Fergus Falls, Marciniak attributed most of his success to lucky bounces and the work of other players on the first line. But he will continue to work on providing a consistent presence on offense for the Cardinals.

“It’s just kind of been a couple of lucky plays, getting set up from linemates,” he said. “A lot of lucky bounces here and there on most of them. I’m going to keep working hard and hopefully they’ll keep going in.”

Marciniak has produced a point in every game so far this year, although he said some nights are a battle against the top lines in the Central Lakes Conference. He still looks forward to the rest of the season as the Cardinals seem ready to improve on an 11-14-1 record from last year.

“Against Brainerd it was a tough game out there,” he said. “They’re a pretty good line out there, and going against the top line, that was a tough night. I didn’t have one of my better games. But it’s been fun so far this year and I look forward to doing it all year.”

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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