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January 09, 2014
Head coach Brad Case and his staff had a nice bus ride home from Marquette after the Grosse Pointe North boys’ hockey team broke into the win column.

It has been a tough opening month for Case and the Norsemen, but they played two good games against host Marquette, winning 6-3 and 2-1 to improve to 2-9 overall.

“It was a great weekend,” Case said. “We had solid goaltending and had timely scoring. We didn’t get a ton of shots each game, but we made the most of those chances.

“We have some good momentum with a big week ahead of us.”

In the opening game last weekend, Vince Romanelli put on a show, scoring four goals and adding an assist as the Norsemen built a 4-0 lead in the second period.

Brendan Nelson, unassisted, opened the scoring at the 2:22 mark of the first period.

The Norsemen scored the next three goals, all on the power play, to extend their lead to 4-0.

Romanelli, from Nick Cusmano, scored at the 2:48 mark, and added his second tally of the game at the 6:56 mark, with Andrew Tomasi and Nick Murray drawing assists.

Ryan Babcock made it 4-0 with a goal at the 10:54 mark. Romanelli and Cusmano had the assists.

Marquette scored late in the second period to get on the board, but Romanelli tallied his third goal of the game early in the third period to make it a 5-1 game.

The home team got the next two goals to make it closer, but Romanelli put an exclamation mark on the Norsemen’s first win by scoring another power-play goal in the final minute, with Murray and Babcock assisting.

Josh Champney made 29 saves to get the victory, and the next day, Ben Borland had to make only 16 saves to break into the win column.

The Norsemen defense played well in both games and the solid goaltending made for two nice wins against a good Marquette squad.

The Norsemen trailed 1-0 after two periods, but Babcock scored on the power play to tie it 1-1 and who else but Romanelli scored to give North the lead for good.

Romanelli assisted on Babcock’s goal and Cusmano had the assist on Romanelli’s tally.

Coming up for North is a home tilt against city rival Grosse Pointe South Thursday, Jan. 9, followed by an away game against Trenton Saturday, Jan. 11.

“Our schedule doesn’t get any easier, but at least we have some momentum in our favor,” Case said. “It was a good team bonding weekend and now we have to stay focused and keep the momentum heading in the right direction.”

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