IRON MOUNTAIN - A promising start quickly fizzled for the Kingsford Flivvers in a 9-3 Lake Superior Hockey Conference loss to Houghton Tuesday evening at Mountain View Ice Arena.
Jon Bostwick scored four goals for Houghton (15-4) - ranked second Division 3 coaches poll and computer rankings - including the Gremlins' first two goals to even up what was a 2-0 Kingsford lead in the first period.
"You can see why they are ranked up high," Flivvers coach Jim Peterson said. "They are fast. They just totally outplayed us. You have to be able to match that intensity, and we've got a long ways to go to match a team like that."
A pair of Matt Willman goals, the first coming just 1:15 into the contest, gave Kingsford its 2-0 lead before the game was even five minutes old.
But things soured shortly after that.
Kingsford was on its first power play of the game when a turnover in the Flivvers' own zone allowed Bostwick to rush in all alone and put the visitors on the board.
Houghton 4 4 1 - 9
Kingsford 2 01 - 3
First period - 1, K - Matt Willman (Nick Brule), 1:15; 2, K - Willman (Tony Ward, Brule), 4:03; 3, H - Jon Bostwick 10 (unassisted), SH, 6:41; 4. H - Bostwick 11 (Jed Kallio, Tristan Foltz), 10:55; 5. H - Kallio 11 (Raymond Brice), 14:09; 6, H - Connor Hannon 22 (Casey Markham, Cole Hagwell), 14:54.
Second period - 7, H - Austin Erva 3 (Luke Haataja, Spencer Donnelly), 3:48; 8, H - Brice 29 (Kallio, Davis Farrey), 11:16; 9, H - Bostwick 12(Brice, Kallio), 15:51; 10, H - H - Bostwick 13 (Hannon, Foltz), PP, 16:40.
Third period - 11, K - Sean Ryan (Reid Pietila), PP, 6:52; 12, H - Kallio 12 (Brice, Bostwick), 7:43.
Goalie Saves - H: Jayson Wiitala 4-2-7 - 13; K: Wes Paupore 12-26-23 - 61.
Bostwick's second goal came four minutes later when he pushed in a rebound of a shot from the high slot off the stick of Jed Kallio.
Kallio and Connor Hannon came though with the third and fourth goals less than a minute apart later in the frame, and the Gremlins were off and running.
In the second period, Houghton set up camp in the east end of the arena, out-shooting Kingsford 30-2 and adding four more goals.
"They got a couple on us early on a couple coverage plays but I was really happy with how they responded from that," Houghton coach Corey Markham said. "It was a tremendous effort those first couple periods. We kept our feet moving, just kept working really hard."
Wes Paupore weathered the assault in net for the Flivvers, coming up with 61 saves in the game.
"We had tons of chances," Markham said. "It could have been more (than nine goals). Their goalie made some big saves."
Austin Erva and Raymond Brice had second-period goals for Houghton. Bostwick added his third and fourth markers to round out the scoring in the stanza.
Sean Ryan cashed in a power play chance for Kingsford early in the third. Houghton answered less than a minute later with Kallio's second goal. Kallio also notched five assists in the contest.
Houghton (15-4, 7-0 LSHC) hosts Jeffers in a make-up game Thursday night at Dee Stadium.