HOUGHTON - Calumet native Levi Erkkila scored the game-winning goal for the Michigan (Flint) Warriors in North American Hockey League play at Sault Ste. Marie.
His goal in the 4-2 win over the Soo Eagles was his second in a two-week span, as he also tallied in a 4-2 home win over Port Huron Nov. 9. He has three goals and two assists in 18 games for the Warriors (formerly the Marquette Rangers), who are off to a tough start this season at 5-15-3. Michigan hosts Janesville (Wis.) this weekend.
On the other side of the Lower Peninsula, former Copper King teammate Jesse Junttila has played in 18 games on the blue line for the Kalamazoo Junior K-Wings. Junttila has two assists and is a plus-1. The K-Wings are 12-8-1 through their first 21 games and host Springfield this weekend.
Also in the NAHL, Hancock alum Devin Kero is 0-3 in his first three games with the Coulee Region (Wis.) Chill. He has a 5.33 goals-against average and an .877 save percentage. The Chill are 5-11-4 going into a series this weekend at Minot, N.D.
Further up the Lake Michigan coast, Ben Storm has played in nine games this season for the United States Hockey League's Muskegon Lumberjacks. He has two assists and is a plus-2 for the club, which is second in the USHL's Eastern Conference at 11-5-1.
On the other side of the border, Calumet's Ben Johnson has posted three goals and five assists in the first 23 games of the Ontario Hockey League season. The Spitfires have been up and down, at 9-9-1. They're at Plymouth Wednesday.
EDITOR'S NOTE: "Calls From Home" is meant to recognize the accomplishments of area athletic alumni in collegiate athletics and junior hockey outside the Copper Country. If you know of an athlete we can add to our records, please contact DMG Sports Editor Brandon Veale at bveale@mininggazette. com.
Hancock's Wade Hanke has four goals and three assists in 28 games for the Midget AAA Marquette Electricians.
Another Bulldog, Maria Almquist, is underway in the women's basketball season at Northern Michigan University.
Almquist started at forward in the season opener vs. NAIA Davenport (coached by ex-Hancock Central High School coach Mike Williams) and went 5-for-7 with a pair of 3-pointers for 12 points and chipped in three rebounds.
The Wildcats lost 77-67 and play their second regular season game tonight against Finlandia at the Berry Events Center.
Almquist, a sophomore, also had six points and four boards in a season-opening exhibition win over Madonna Oct. 28.
Houghton alum Taylor Dillinger, a freshman at Minnesota Duluth, played 20 minutes against the Huskies in their meeting Saturday in Duluth. Though she went 0-for-4, she did pull down a pair of rebounds and had an assist and a steal.
Dillinger scored her first collegiate points on the same floor as last year's Elite Eight in a tournament at St. Mary's in San Antonio, Texas Nov. 10.
In UMD's 64-44 win over Central Oklahoma, Dillinger posted six points and a rebound, while the next night against the hosts, she had three points, three boards and two assists in 13 minutes in a 71-63 defeat.
UMD hosts local rival Wis.-Superior tonight.
Also in Duluth, Dollar Bay alum Tim Dunstan helped the College of St. Scholastica win the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference cross country championship for the fourth straight time. Dunstan finished 24th in the league meet Oct. 27 at New Ulm, Minn., finishing the 8-kilometer course in 29 minutes, 47.7 seconds.
In football, L'Anse native Cody Dingeldey played in six games for Ferris State this season on the offensive line, including the Bulldogs' last four. The first in that stretch was against Michigan Tech Oct. 20 in which Dingeldey, a redshirt freshman, matched up against linebacker and fellow Purple Hornet Dan Perrault of the Huskies.
Baraga alumna Gabby Jukkala received honorable mention in UMAC volleyball after concluding her career for Northland College.
Jukkala led the team with 210 kills (2.04 per set) and 290 digs (2.82 per set), in addition to 59 service aces.
The Lumberjills finished the season 9-21 overall and 5-9 in UMAC play.