MARQUETTE - After being outscored 17-1 in a pair of drubbings downstate to Cranbrook 10 days earlier, the Calumet High School hockey team found some fire on the ice of Lakeview Arena on Tuesday against Marquette Senior High School and that fire blazed the brightest on the power play.
The Copper Kings scored their first three goals on the man advantage and converted on four of their first five power play chances en route to a 6-1 victory over the rival Redmen.
Calumet finished 4 for 8 on the power play and outshot Marquette 39-14, holding MSHS to less than 10 shots until the third period.
Marquette’s Tyler Jackson (19) chases down Calumet’s Brendan Jacques in the Redmen zone during the first period Tuesday evening at Lakeview Arena in Marquette. (Journal photo by Matt Wellens)
"After coming from Cranbrook last weekend and getting our butts absolutely creamed, I thought the kids had a little fire in them. Our power play was pretty deadly," Calumet coach Jim Crawford said.
"After taking a butt kicking like we did, getting humiliated two games in a row against an outstanding team, the kids were full of fire."
Calumet senior forward and Northern Michigan University verbal commitment Brendan Jacques finished with two goals and an assist; junior forward Eric Mattila had a goal and two assists; senior forward Bryce Johnson scored two of the Copper Kings' first three power play goals; and senior forward Lucas Lahnala assisted on Calumet's second and third power play tallies to lead a balanced Calumet offensive effort.
Junior forward Braden Anderson had the Copper Kings' only even-strength goal, unassisted, late in the third period.
Senior defenseman James Sturos assisted on Johnson's first goal of the night 4:07 in while Marquette served a bench minor for too many men on the ice.
Mattila struck 2 minutes later while the Redmen were trying to kill off a holding penalty and Johnson got his second score 4:40 into the second after a hooking call on Marquette.
"Really nothing to say about our penalty killers. I just think it has a lot to say about their power play," MSHS coach Mike L'Huillier said.
"They got so much talent. They move the puck so well tape-to-tape. They go to the net. They're in position. They are well coached.
"I just can't say we were doggish out there. They were just that much better than us."
Jacques, who assisted on Johnson's second score, picked up his first tally of the night 2:28 into the third period following a tripping call on MSHS.
When Marquette finally got its first power play six minutes into the third period, Jacques responded with a pair of one-on-one shorthanded breakaways against Redmen goaltender Evan Kyle. The first attempt hit the post and the second found the back of the net.
Crawford said he has been waiting for Jacques to break out and start scoring goals like the senior did Tuesday.
"Last year, I know I struggled through a few games to get the goals going, but as soon as you get that one in, they seem to start coming a lot easier," Jacques said.
Jacques' back-to-back breaks early in the third were two of three Calumet shorthanded breakaways in the final period alone.
Kyle also fended off a two-on-one Copper Kings breakaway midway through the third period and had to fight off a pair of even-strength one-on-one breaks in the first two periods.
Only Jacques' second shorthanded attempt succeeded as the senior Redmen netminder finished with 33 saves.
"It seems like every team we've lost to has been so much quicker than us," L'Huillier said.
"Evan Kyle and Matt Wiese have been keeping us in for our four losses, there's no question. We've been outshot by 30 shots a game when we lost. Luckily, we have good goaltending."
Notes: Calumet junior goalie Troy Pierce made 13 saves. ... Sophomore forward Scott Frazier scored the Redmen's lone goal during 4-on-4 play at 5:13 of the third period with assists from junior defenseman Chris Amundsen and junior forward Alex Zerbel. MSHS finished the game with a 51 second 5-on-3 advantage, but couldn't score.
Matt Wellens can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252.