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Five locals land on All-State hockey first team list

March 16, 2012
The Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON - Five players from three Copper Country schools were named to the Michigan High School Hockey Coaches Association Division 3 all-state first team Thursday.

Three more were selected for the second team.

Calumet netted a pair of first-team selections at forward with Levi Erkkila and Brendan Jacques, both juniors.

Erkkila recorded 31 goals and 30 assists for the Copper Kings, while Jacques tallied 17 goals and 33 assists despite missing the first month of the season with a shoulder injury.

Defenseman Ben Storm was Calumet's third first-team pick. Storm, who was already the U.P. Division 1-7 Defensive Player of the Year at end and selected to the Associated Press Division 5-6 All-State Team at punter, earned all-state accolades in hockey after a season in which he posted 15 goals and 20 assists in a combined forward/defense role.

A pair of local senior goalies were among the four selected to the first team. Hancock's Devin Kero had a .917 save percentage and 3.03 goals-against average in backstopping a young Hancock team to a 12-win season, while Houghton's Tony Peltier stopped shots at a .918 rate with a 2.25 GAA in the regular season before leading the Gremlins to their first state championship game since 1995.

The second team contains one Gremlin, Bulldog and Copper King.

The Bulldog rep is senior forward Zach Hill, who had 18 goals and 27 assists in the regular season to lead his team in both categories.

Houghton senior defenseman Griffin Hietala made the cut on defense, where he also pitched in three goals and 14 assists in his fourth year on varsity.

Senior defenseman Josh Harju of Calumet was selected. He had eight goals and 10 assists.

Local players receiving honorable mention include Houghton sophomore forward Connor Hannon, Houghton senior forward Trevor Mattson.

MHSHCA also honored all three teams as Academic All-State teams for recording a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher, while individuals who received academic all-state for a 3.5 GPA or better included Eric Mattila, James Sturos and Troy Pierce of Calumet, Mike DiPalma and Heath Johnson of Houghton, and Hill and Kero from Hancock.



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