HOUGHTON - The Portage Lake Pioneers scored two goals in the first four minutes of the game, took advantage of a flurry of Calumet Wolverine second-period penalties and weathered a third-period rally from the visitors to win 4-2 and complete a sweep of the two-game holiday rivalry series in front of an impressive crowd at Dee Stadium Friday night.
Charlie Turner put the hosts ahead 1-0 just 1:30 into the game with a quick wrist shot from the slot, assisted by Brooks Olson. Pete Rouleau, fresh off a four-goal performance in last Friday's 7-4 win over Calumet, put Portage Lake up 2-0 at the 3:59 mark on a low-angle shot past Wolverine netminder Ben Ruohonen.
Calumet eventually settled in and cut the deficit in half at the 9:08 mark when Jack Maccani put an innocent-looking shot on PL goalie Jordan Roy, but it slipped five-hole. Roy was otherwise impressive in a 28-save winning performance.
Portage Lake Pioneers forward Cody Sivonen breaks away from Calumet Wolverines forward Eric Daavettilla in the second period of Friday night’s 4-2 victory over Calumet at Dee Stadium. (DMG photo by Stephen Anderson)
In the second period, Portage Lake built the lead back to two goals when Olson fired a slap shot past Ruohonen 8:24 into the period. And from then on, the Wolverines were their own worst enemy. Calumet was called for six penalties in the second stanza, one a four-minute double minor against a frustrated Josh Frantti, who went to the box three times during the game.
PL had countless power-play opportunities and had a 5-on-3 man advantage for several minutes, but could only convert once. Olson tallied his second goal and third point of the night during the 5-on-3, with Roger Lewis earning his third assist of the night - he assisted on the last three Pioneer goals. PL carried a 38-12 shot advantage into the third period.
But, the Pioneers got in some penalty trouble of their own during the final frame and Calumet trimmed the deficit to 4-2 just 3:45 into the period when Evan Salmela collected a pass from Logan Rastello and beat Roy on the power play. The Wolverines doubled the Pioneers' third-period shot total, 18-9.
While the game featured several more penalties - including two minutes of 3-on-3 play - both goalies held firm to the end. Ruohonen made 43 saves in the losing effort, but Roy turned away breakaway rushes from Mike Babcock and Rastello in the final period to clinch the Pioneers' second straight Great Lakes Hockey League win over the Wolverines.