ST. PAUL -- The Little Falls Flyers had more fan power. The Duluth Marshall Hilltoppers had more firepower.
Marshall fired in five goals in the opening 12 minutes, outshot Little Falls 44-18 and went on to defeat the Flyers 9-2 in the quarterfinals of the Class 1A state boys' hockey tournament Wednesday night at the Xcel Energy Center.
Duluth's Chris Connolly and Scott Kozlak, who had a hat trick 23 seconds into the second period, scored in the game's first 2:45 and the rout was on. Kozlak finished with four goals, scoring his fourth at the 3:43 mark of the third.
Kozlak, Jack Connolly and Kevin Mahoney added first-period goals for the Hilltoppers, who outshot Little Falls 18-6 during the session.
Steven Festler (9) of the Little Falls Flyers could only watch as Scott Kozlak of Duluth Marshall took the puck away Thursday in the Class A state quarterfinal game at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Brainerd Dispatch/Clint Wood
Steven Festler, on a power play, scored the Flyers' only first-period goal, whistling a slap shot into the lower left corner of the net past Marshall goalie Jason Paul. It was his 32nd goal of the season.
The Flyers, who chartered seven fan buses to the contest, struggled to contain Marshall's speed and quickness. They allowed the Hilltoppers countless quality shots and breaks on starting goalie Jake Kluver, who experienced difficulty controlling his rebounds.
Kluver was replaced in net in the third period by senior Paddy Stoy.
Fifth-ranked Marshall increased its lead to 8-2 after two periods as Kozlak, Eric Goldschmit and Mahoney scored.
Mikael Lickteig tallied in the second on a Little Falls power play, slapping a high shot past Paul at 13:30 following a faceoff for his 33rd goal of the season. The Flyers were outshot 16-4 in the period.
The Hilltoppers' skill was able to keep Little Falls' high-flying line of Festler, Lickteig and Joey Cotton in check for the most part. Entering the contest, Festler, Lickteig and Cotton had combined for 176 points. They combined for three points Wednesday night.
Jared Festler (11) of the Little Falls Flyers attempted to skate around Matt Letourneau of Duluth Marshall Thursday in the Class A state quarterfinal game at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Brainerd Dispatch/Clint Wood
Little Falls 1 1 0 -- 2
Duluth Marshall 5 3 1 -- 9
First period -- DM-Chris Connolly (Tim Kleiman) 2:31; DM-Scott Kozlak (C. Connolly) 2:45; DM-Kozlak (Kleiman, Jason Paul) shg 6:58; DM-Jack Connolly (Andrew Ritts, Bob Gutsch) 8:50; DM-Kevin Mahoney (Eric Goldschmit) 11:58; LF-Steven Festler, ppg 14:50
Second period -- DM-Kozlak (C. Connolly, Kevin Jones) :23; DM-Goldschmit (Mahoney, Eric LaBounty) 4:45; DM-Mahoney (Goldschmit) 8:18; LF-Mikael Lickteig (Joey Cotton) ppg 13:30
Third period -- DM-Kozlak (C.Connolly, Jones) 3:43
Power-play opportunities -- LF DM
Shots on goal -- LF 6-4-8--18, DM 18-16-10--44
Goalies -- LF-Jake Kluver (26 saves), Paddy Stoy (9 saves in third period); DM-Jason Paul (14 saves), Jesse Behning (2 saves)
Overall -- LF 20-9-0, DM 23-6-0.
MIKE BIALKA can be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5861.
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