It was Retro Night Saturday at McMorran Pavilion, but the game on the ice was a glimpse into the future.
Port Huron defeated Marysville 5-1 in the nonconference game, the second of three meetings between the two schools. The third will be on March 3, in the postseason opener.
“We knew coming into (Saturday) that they’re our playoff opponent in a couple weeks,” Port Huron coach Ben Pionk said. “So we wanted to do our best to set the tone tonight. Just feel them out and see where they’re at.
“They’ve improved a ton since the beginning of the year. They’re a much better team.”
Pionk hopes the playoff meeting plays out much like Saturday’s, as Darien Davis and KJ Fontenot combined for five goals and nine points. Davis had three goals and one assist, while Fontenot had two goals and three assists.
Will Kriewall added a goal for the Big Reds, while Carter Smith and Dayne Davis each had two assists. Pat O’Brien, Trevor Sprague, Andrew Morris and Matt Pringle each had one assist. Ally Fetterly picked up the win, stopping nine shots. The Big Reds outshot Marysville 34-10.
Cooper Dove scored the lone goal for Marysville, with assists from Tyler Nunez and Kevin Straney. Brenden Campbell stopped 28 shots in the loss.
For Marysville, Saturday night’s game could serve as a learning experience.
“I think it’s great,” Marysville coach Paul Moretz said. “In my mind, as bad as we played at times tonight, it was still a very competitive game. I think if we can eliminate those moments, we’re a totally different hockey team. We played Thursday night (a 5-1 win against Bloomfield), we actually put three periods together, and it was a great game to watch.
“As soon as they decide they’re going to buy in and get rid of those bad habits and those lapses, we’re a totally different team. It’s tough to beat a team three times in one year, and that’s what they’ll have to do.”
The team that will be awaiting the Port Huron/Marysville winner in the pre-regional final, Port Huron Northern, dropped a pair of games over the weekend at the Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League Showcase.
Northern lost 5-4 Friday night against Traverse City Central, and 4-1 Saturday night against Flint Powers.
Clay Wilson (assist), Garrett Yarger, Brendan Shagena and Joey Zappa each had a goal for Northern against Traverse City Central, while Nate Wilson, Luke Scahill and Brendan VanHorn each had an assist. Andrew Adolph stopped 23 shots in the loss.
Shagena scored the lone Northern goal against Flint Powers, with an assist from Clay Wilson. Adolph had 21 saves in the game.
Northern will get a look at each of the other local teams this coming week, as it will play at 6:15 p.m. Thursday against Port Huron and 7:15 p.m. Saturday against Marysville. Both games will be at McMorran Pavilion.
Port Huron has three games in three nights, as it follows the Northern game with Macomb Area Conference Blue Division games Friday at Fraser and Saturday at Warren Mott. A pair of wins will keep Port Huron in the MAC Blue title race.
Marysville, meanwhile, plays at 8:15 Thursday against Berkley.
Contact Paul Costanzo at (810) 989-6251 or firstname.lastname@example.org. follow him on Twitter @PaulCostanzo.