HOUGHTON - Jeffers High hockey coach David Bekkala was happy with his team's play for two periods against L'Anse Tuesday night.
But Bekkala was mystified by a third period that saw the Hornets score three times to cut a 6-0 lead in half in an eventual 6-3 victory at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
"I don't know if we decided to go to sleep (in the period) or what," Bekkala commented. "It's high school hockey ... the boys have to learn you have to play 51 minutes. The other team is going to try to keep scoring."
Jeffers forward Nick Trezona and a L’Anse player (obscured) go into the corner for a puck during Tuesday’s prep hockey game at MacInnes Student Ice Arena in Houghton. The Jets won 6-3. (DMG photo by David Archambeau)
LHS coach Darrin Voskuhl didn't know why his team was so sluggish in the opening two frames.
"The kids came out strong in the first five minutes, after that they got a little timid and a little lazy. We weren't winning any one-on-one battles," Voskuhl said. "In the third period they really came out and decided to play."
A goal early in the final period by Corbin Crittenden appeared to snap the Purple Gang out of its lethargy.
L'Anse 0 0 3 - 3
Jeffers 2 4 0 - 6
First period - 1, J - Anthony Harris (Stephen Butina) 7:35 (PP); 2, J - Alex Sears (unassisted) 15:41.
Second period - 3, J - Tyler Bailey (Brady Guilbault, A. Harris) :23; 4, J - David Pollard (Nick Harris) 5:48; 5, J - Nick Harris (A. Harris) 10:32; 6, J - Pollard (N. Harris) 13:11 (PP).
Third period - 7, L - Corbin Crittenden (Sean Lake, Tyler Polich) 5:28; 8, L - Kyle Maki (unassisted) 11:26; 9, L - Andre Richards (Jake Polich) 12:35.
Goalie saves - LAN, Turunen 26 (8-10-8); JEF, Durocher 12 (5-6-1).
That was followed by a tip-in marker by Kyle Maki and a rebound goal by Andre Richards.
"We kind of left Dax (Durocher) hang out to dry in the third period," Bekkala noted. "We can't afford to do that to our goalltender."
The first two periods were dominated by the Jets. A power play goal by Anthony Harris got things rolling at the 7:35 mark.
An unassisted goal by Alex Sears late in the period made it 2-0.
Tyler Bailey's rebound shot just 1:23 into the second stanza made it 3-0.
The Jets soon took firm control when David Pollard rapped in a pair of goals - one on a power play - and Nick Harris added another for the aformentioned 6-0 lead.
L'Anse netminder Michael Turunen made a couple of nice saves early in third period and that also seemed to give the Hornets a spark.
"Michael (Turunen) played really well in the third period, I think he wished he had a couple back from the second period," Voskuhl said. "But he played a nice game."
Bekkala was happy with the play of Pollard and Anthony and Nick Harris, who combined for four goals and five assists.
"We're really happy that Dave Pollard decided to come back this year after sitting out last year," he said. "And Anthony and Nick (Harris) played well."
Durocher was called on to make 12 saves, while Turunen made 26 blocks.
Both teams will play Negaunee next week, with Jeffers doing so Tuesday at the SDC.