Plymouth — It seemed like only a matter of time before one of Marquette’s shots trickled past Trenton to tie the Division 2 hockey semifinal on Thursday, but two quick third-period goals and junior goaltender Joey Cormier closed the door.
Marquette fired 37 shots on goal, but Cormier saved them all to secure a 4-0 win for Trenton and a trip to the Division 2 state title game for a second straight year.
“They came out faster than we thought,” Cormier said of Marquette. “I just tried doing everything I could to help the team get a win and keep everything out of the net.”
The game had been tight through two periods at 1-0, but Trenton (25-4-1) scored two quick goals in the third to create an insurmountable lead.
Nolan Szczepaniak and Gregory Obrycki each scored in the first 1:34 of the third period which gave Trenton all the offense it needed to reach its ninth state championship game since the creation of Division 2 in 2000.
“We just hung in for two periods,” Trenton coach Chad Clements said. “We needed (Nolan’s goal). You could see everyone on the bench get up. You could see a whole different personality from the team. It’s what we needed to wake up in the third period.”
Alex Perrin struck first with a goal in the first period and Zachary Teichart added one in the final seconds for Trenton.
Trenton is aiming for its first state championship since 2014 and the 15th in school history.
Clements is looking for his first as Trenton’s head coach after coming just short last season.
“When you can say you’re playing in the final game, that’s got to be exciting for your team,” Clements said. “We’re excited that we have another opportunity.”
Marquette (21-7-1) missed out on an opportunity to win its first state title since 2008 when it was still in Division 1 and earned the only tie in the championship game’s history with an eight-overtime draw against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.
“I don’t know if anyone expected us to have the year we had,” Marquette coach Doug Garrow said. “Our expectations weren’t extremely high. I think these guys not only over-achieved, but they proved to people what hard work does.”
Garrow didn’t believe his team was overmatched, and the final score wasn’t indicative of just how well his team played.
“I thought we dictated the play for two periods,” Garrow said. “We didn’t look at Trenton like, ‘Oh they’re Trenton from downstate with big, strong kids.’ I thought we dictated the play. These guys have nothing to be ashamed of.
“We held our own.”
Trenton earns a rematch with Hartland looking for revenge in the Division 2 state championship game on Saturday morning after it defeated Birmingham Brother Rice in Thursday’s semifinal, 6-2.
“It was a bitter taste in our mouths last year,” Clements said. “(Hartland) wants to win back-to-back titles. They’re just as hungry. The boys are all excited and we want a different outcome this year.”
Connor Muldowney is a freelance writer.
All games at USA Hockey Arena, Plymouth
Detroit C.C. vs. Rochester Adams, 5
Saginaw Heritage vs. TC St. Francis, 7:30
Final: 6 p.m. Saturday
Hartland 6, Birmingham Brother Rice 2
Trenton 4, Marquette 0
Final: 10 a.m. Saturday
Riverview Gabriel Richard vs. Houghton, 11 a.m.
Detroit Country Day vs. E. Grand Rapids, 1:30 p.m.
Final: 2 p.m. Saturday