Monday's matinee finale of the U-Mary Icebreaker went the same way the four primetime games did -- another Marauder mismatch.
Mandan's Alex Horner, Andy Huber and PJ Silveria each scored two goals as the unbeaten Marauders tied a program record with 10 tallies in their 10-0 rout of Utah State at Starion Sports Complex.
"We've got a really good team here," said Horner, U-Mary's fourth-line center. "We lost some really good guys, loved them, but we've got some key new guys that have tied the whole team together. It was a good effort today and a great start to the season."
It's been great alright.
Through 12 games, the Marauders have scored 65 goals and allowed 15. In the 5-game-in-5-day Icebreaker, U-Mary outscored its opponents 29-4.
"It's fun. We have a great group of guys," said U-Mary head coach Dan Huntley. "A really good illustration of that was it's 10-0 and PJ (Silveria) is blocking a shot because the guy in net (Lance Knudson) is from the same hometown (Crosby, N.D.). That's the mentality our guys have. They're willing to do anything for anybody."
Captain Zach Garrett scored the second U-Mary goal and had four assists in the game. Kyler Moore, Alex Flicek and Johnny Witzke also lit the lamp. In the Marauders' six-goal third period, four came on the power play.
"The nice thing is we have four lines that are deep at forward and we all come in and go 100 percent all the time," said Horner, who netted the final goal on a tape-to-tape feed from Logan Kraft. "When you get your chance, you want to do whatever you can to help the team. We all have that same mindset."
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The Marauders' practice sessions, where it's good against good, keeps everyone sharp.
"We do a lot of 5-on-5 stuff where we're grinding on each other, just working hard to get better," Horner said. "It's definitely going to make you better because you're always competing against someone good."
The Marauders' overwhelming depth really showed in the final period as the puck was almost exclusively pinned in the Utah State end. Penalties played a part too, with Utah State being whistled for five infractions in the frame.
"It shows how our depth can really affect you," Huntley said. "When you get a team down, and we're rolling our third- and fourth-line guys out there who are motivated and have talent, it allows us to sustain pressure even on a day like today when it's our fifth day in a row with a game and ninth in the last 12 days."
The Marauders only allowed 20 shots, but very few troubled goalie Lance Knudson, who continues to shine.
"We have great defensemen and our goalies are awesome," said Horner. "We're not satisfied. We're going to keep working hard every day, but we do have high expectations."
There's a lot of season left -- more than 40 games, including tournaments -- but the target is clear.
"National title, that's our main goal," Horner said. "We have a series of little goals that progress up to the big one at the end. So far, things are going really well."