EAGLE RIVER, Wis. - Both the Portage Lake Pioneers and Calumet Wolverines were foiled by Fond du Lac, Wis., on day one of the Great Lakes Hockey League Tournament.
The Bears' twin wins put them safely atop the three-team pool and into the semifinals, leaving Portage Lake and Calumet to fight it out for one wild card spot, at best, in their matchup today.
Fond du Lac raced out to an excellent start, leading the Pioneers 5-0 before the midway point of the second period. The Bears, who finished ninth for the last tournament spot, scored four times in a seven-minute stretch of the second to break it open.
Portage Lake, the regular season champions, began its rally on Charlie Turner's goal at 9:41 of the second. Turner assisted on Blake Miller's tally at 16:54 to make it 6-2 after two, but Portage Lake pulled only two goals back in the third on scores from Ryan Sullivan and Mike Stevens.
Jordan Roy made 26 saves, while Sullivan added two assists.
The Bears then edged the Wolverines 4-3 in their second game of the day.
Gust Junttila scored his second of the game with 56 seconds left but the Wolverines got no closer. Mike Babcock also tallied for the Wolverines.
Both sides could use a blowout today, as goal differential is the tiebreaker for the wild card spot.
The winners of each of the three three-team pools and a fourth wild card advance to the semifinals tonight with the championship coming on Sunday.