The sophistication and calculated energy Adam Marshall pours into his post-goal celebrations are telltale giveaways. It’s obvious these aren’t rare, random occasions. Marshall has done this before. Lots of times.
As natural a goal scorer as any player on the Benilde-St. Margaret’s roster, Marshall, No. 11 in Legacy Hockey's rankings of the state's top juniors, led the Red Knights in scoring last season with 18 goals in 27 games. Two seasons ago he popped in seven as a fuzzy-cheeked freshman.
With three goals in three games this season, Marshall, a junior selected to play in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League this fall, is once again the Red Knights’ top goal scorer. His latest tally came in Wednesday night’s 3-2 victory against defending Class 1A champion Mahtomedi, converting a close-range feed from defenseman Tristan Sarsland.
“Sarsland took it around the net and passed it back door for a tap in,” Marshall said about his second-period goal, which put the No. 4-2A Red Knights (3-0-0) ahead of No. 3-1A Mahtomedi 3-0 and proved to be the game winner.
Another telling, though much more unexpected, development came in the final minute. With Zephyrs goaltender Ben Dardis pulled in favor of an extra skater and the face off in the Benilde-St. Margaret’s defensive zone, Red Knights coach Ken Pauly opted to send out Marshall as one of his forwards tasked with protecting the lead by any means necessary.
“It feels really good, especially from the last two years, when kind of being that defensive was, ‘eh,’ ” Marshall said about being trusted to play in such a clutch situation. “Now I’m stepping up and playing my role on defense, which is huge.”
In the final minute Marshall joined fellow forward Jackson Bisson in a formation that included defensemen Brady Yakesh, James Callahan and Sarsland.
"Adam has really be been great at tracking the puck and fighting to get it back,” Pauly said. “Adam is a great competitor. He’s not going to give up on the puck.”
That kind of tenacity will be crucial as Benilde-St. Margaret’s heads toward the heart of its season and then, of course, the gauntlet that is Section 6AA.
“We’ve just got to take it one game at a time and just get after it,” Marshall said, declining to look as far ahead of as a playoff bracket that will include Edina, Wayzata, Blake, Cretin-Derham Hall and St. Louis Park, all ranked in the Top 25.