CALUMET - Playing their third game in four days, the Calumet hockey team trailed Houghton 3-1 entering the third period at the Colosseum Monday night. With the first two periods firmly going to the Gremlins, Copper Kings coach Jim Crawford wasn't sure how much his team had left in the tank.
Plenty, it turns out.
Taking advantage of three Houghton penalties in a four-minute stretch and displaying a wealth of resiliency, Calumet netted three goals in the final nine minutes of play to pull out a dramatic 4-3 victory on a Valentine's Mass-a-Cure night in which the hosts were outshot 46-24.
Calumet forward Brendan Jacques crashes to the net to push the puck past Houghton goalie Marcus Gloss during a power play in the third period Monday. Connor Hannon (18) defends for the Gremlins. Jacques would score the game-winner minutes later. (DMG photo by Meagan Stilp)
Calumet goalie Troy Pierce kicks aside a shot in the second period Monday night. Pierce finished with 43 saves, including 18 in the second period. (DMG photo by Meagan Stilp)
"After the trip we had to (Trenton, Mich.) and just getting back, I never, never expected us to come back in the third, and we actually got stronger," Crawford said. "It was really impressive on these kids' parts, to come back after the long weekend we had. It shocked me we had the energy to come back, and really, it is a heck of a comeback against a good team like that."
Senior forward Brendan Jacques turned the tide for Calumet midway through the third period on a five-on-three power play, crashing to the net to bang home Lucas Lahnala's initial shot to slice the lead to one.
With a noticeable jump in play for the Kings, Matt Prouty tied the game just over two minutes later on a bizarre sequence that saw Prouty fight through a tripping penalty to push the puck across the goal line as he crashed into Houghton goalie Marcus Gloss.
Houghton 1 2 0 - 3
Calumet 1 0 3 - 4
First period - 1, HOU, Ray Brice (PP) (Hunter Rajala, Tristan Foltz), 4:17; 2, CAL, Bryce Johnson (Eric Mattila).
Second period - 3, HOU, Brice (PP) (Jed Kallio), 5:02; 4, HOU, Jon Bostwick (PP) (Casey Markham, Rajala), 12:16.
Third period - 5, CAL, Brendan Jacques (PP) (Lucas Lahnala, Mattila), 8:01; 6, CAL, Matt Prouty, 10:11; 7, CAL, Jacques (Lahnala, Maxx Fredrickson), 12:30.
Penalties - HOU, 8-24; CAL, 5-13.
Goalie saves - HOU, Marcus Gloss 20 (13-4-3); CAL, Troy Pierce 43 (14-18-11).
"It came down to taking penalties," Houghton coach Corey Markham said. "The whole third period we are in the box, and when you are up two goals and give them power play after power play they are going to convert. You just cannot take penalties like that when you have a lead - those just killed us.
"You have to learn how to win these close games."