HOUGHTON - A flurry of puck luck tipped the consolation game of the MacInnes Holiday Classic decisively in Calumet's favor Thursday.
Immediately after a Hancock goal was disallowed, the Copper Kings pumped in a pair of legit ones and rolled to a 5-0 win.
It was another weird night for the Copper Kings in which the outcome appeared to be the inverse of their perceived standard of play.
Calumet’s Evan Billeck vies for the puck with Hancock’s Jack Fenton (16)?and Hayden Heikkinen in front of goaltender Jacob Givens during the third period of the MacInnes Holiday Classic consolation game Thursday in Houghton. (DMG photo by David Archambeau)
"We were a lot better last night in the first two periods than we were tonight, but we were getting the breaks tonight," Calumet coach Jim Crawford said. "Then the third period, which was our best period in this game, we didn't score."
At about the 10-minute mark of the first period, a Hancock shot rebounded straight up and was tapped behind Calumet goalie Brian Rogers. The referees disallowed the tally, ruling the puck was played with a high stick on the way down.
Reprieve in hand, the Copper Kings pounced. Seconds later, Lucas Lahnala cleaned a rebound in the left circle for the game's opening goal at 11:06. Just 43 seconds later, Robert Erkkila, a freshman, opened his high school scoring account, roofing a puck in close quarters in front of Hancock goalie William Lucier.
Calumet2 3 0 - 5
Hancock0 0 0 - 0
First period - 1, CAL - Lucas Lahnala 5 (Brendan Jacques, Blake Rowe), 11:06; 2, CAL, Robert Erkkila 1 (Bryce Johnson, Adam Gill), 11:49.
Second period - 3, CAL - Eric Mattila 5 (R. Erkkila, Jacques) 7:16 (PP); 4, CAL - Johnson (unassisted), 11:49; 5, CAL - Matt Prouty 1 (Evan Billeck), 13:29.
Third period - no scoring.
Power-play opportunities - Calumet, 1-for-4; Hancock, 0-for-4
Penalties - CAL 6/12, HAN 6/12
Goalie saves - CAL, Brian Rogers 17 (7-4-6); HAN, William Lucier 14 (8-6-x), Jacob Givens 12 (x-x-12).
"We made some good offensive plays and bing-bang," Crawford said.
Both Erkkila and another newcomer, Matt Prouty, scored their first prep goals Thursday.
"It's really important for guys to get that first goal, get that camel off their back," Crawford said.
Things continued to go well for Calumet in the second period.
Eric Mattila connected with a puck in mid-air for a power-play tally at 7:16 and his fifth goal of the season. Three of the previous four came in a hat trick against Hancock during the Copper Island Classic Nov. 24.
Bryce Johnson and Prouty scored less than two minutes apart later in the period to complete the scoring, while Rogers finished with 17 saves for his first prep shutout.
"We let blue jerseys go in front of our goalie. We've been trying to clean that area up for a long time right now and we haven't been able to," Hancock coach Dan Rouleau said.
Lucier made 14 saves in two periods. Jacob Givens mopped up with 12 saves on 12 shots in the third.
Hancock, now 3-7 overall, has nearly two weeks to contemplate this week's forgettable pair of performances before returning to action Jan. 8 at Kingsford.
"We're really squeezing the sticks trying to score goals right now," Rouleau said.
The Copper Kings, 6-4 overall but 3-0 at home, have six home games at the Colosseum in January, including their next outing, Jan. 4 against Novi.