HOUGHTON - Sporting some new uniforms Friday night, the Jeffers hockey team broke in the fresh sweaters in style, scoring a 6-3 win at Dee Stadium over lower peninsula Gaylord in the Joe Bukovich Classic.
The Jets got goals from five different skaters, and after trailing briefly for one minute in the second period, controlled the game throughout.
Following a win at Negaunee Tuesday, Jeffers has improved to 2-0 on the young season. The Jets lost to Gaylord 4-3 in overtime at the 2011 "Joe Buck."
Daily Mining Gazette/Michael Bleach
Jeffers senior Matthew Mantta watches his backhand beat Gaylord goaltender Peter Lawton near post midway through the second period during the Joe Bukovich Classic at Dee Stadium Friday night.
"We were pretty excited for this," Jeffers junior forward Tyler Bailey, who netted two goals, said. "After our first game on Tuesday we knew things were falling together and we were excited."
Junior forward Brady Guilbault got the Jets on the board in the middle of the first period after he cleaned up the rebounds of sophomore linemate Nicholas Harris and Anthony Harris.
It was a goal coming with the Jets dominating the puck in the opening 10 minutes.
Gaylord 1 1 1 - 3
Jeffers 1 3 2 - 6
First period - 1, JEF, Brady Guilbault (Nicholas Harris, Anthony Harris), 11:49; 2, GAY, Anthony Tomaski 16:03.
Second period - 3, GAY, Seth Muzyl (Blake Miller), 4:22; 4, JEF, Tyler Bailey (Kevin Semmens), 5:28; 5, JEF, Matthew Mantta (Nicholas Harris), 9:17; 6, JEF, Troy Dunstan (Travis Wesa, Tylor Rickard), 15:10.
Third period - 7, JEF, Wesa (Anthony Harris), 0:22; 8, GAY, Muzyl, 2:59; 9, JEF, Bailey, 16:11.
Penalties - Gaylord 7/14; Jeffers 2/4.
Goalie saves - GAY, Peter Lawton 21 (11-4-6); JEF, Dax Durocher 17 (4-6-7).
"They are playing with a lot of energy, I am pleased with that," Jets coach David Bekkala said. "The enthusiasm, the energy, they are really aggressive on the puck. ... the boys were doing a nice job getting the shot and it was huge to get Brady Guilbault on the board early and give our team a good start because Gaylord is a good team."
Gaylord snagged one back against the flow of play, however, when Anthony Tomaski made a strong individual move on a break to beat Jets goaltender Dax Durocher. The Blue Devils then took the lead early in the second period when senior Seth Muzyl found plenty of time and space for a snap shot deep in the slot.
"We were a little aggressive," Bekkala said. "And we are pinching way too hard. They were too fast for that. ... (Muzyl and Tomaski) were real good. We had to pay attention and take note of where they were."
The Jets offense, however, was not grounded.
Bailey scored his first a minute after Muzyl's tally, burying a pass from freshman Kevin Semmens who was camping behind the net. Senior Matthew Mantta then gave the Jets the lead with a near-post backhand score on a break out.
Troy Dunstan finished the rush with the winner late in the second period, after the senior and Travis Wesa dissected Gaylord goalie Peter Lawton on a two-on-none when the Blue Devils were caught in a shift change.
The multitude of goal scorers was a welcome change for Bekkala after the team had to rely on graduated seniors Chase Daavettila and Matt Zerbst along with Wesa for most of the production last season.
"We are trying to distribute the wealth," Bekkala said. "We need to have a team effort and that is something everyone says, but we truly do need to have a team effort. I thought everybody contributed tonight."
Wesa finished Gaylord for good 22 seconds into the third period when a nice pass from Anthony Harris freed him on the power play. Bailey finished the scoring with a rebound tally later in the third period to finalize the 6-3 margin.
"It's just nice to have more lines to roll," Bailey said. "A little more hard work and dedication (from everyone)."
Jeffers will take on Rochester United tomorrow at 3 p.m.
Bekkala hopes the energy remains the same, but is looking for a little more discipline from his defense so Durocher won't face so many breakouts.
"Now as we are meeting good teams like Gaylord we are going to have to combine the enthusiasm and energy with the thought process," Bekkala said. "But I can't be upset with how hard they are working because that's the first set. So if we can get them to think and skate that is going to be phenomenal."