Jeffers suffers first defeat of season, 7-5, to Kingsford
IRON MOUNTAIN — Kingsford out-dueled Jeffers in a physical battle with a 7-5 win on Thursday.
Nine different Flivvers players tallied a point — the third time the Flivvers have done that in three games. Kingsford (3-0) has scored 25 goals in the first nine periods of the season to start unbeaten.
Trey Bociek broke a late 5-5 tie on a penalty shot with 4:35 remaining in the third period. Bociek was hauled down on a breakaway that formed off a breakout pass by Reece Fortner through the middle of the zone.
“(Fortner) made a beautiful pass to spring Trey Bociek loose,” Kingsford head coach Dennis Murvich said. “They had no option but to drag him down. I thought it was a beautiful look, threaded the needle — beautiful pass.”
Bociek took the puck at center ice for the penalty shot and slowly glided toward Jeffers goalie Noah Nettell. Bociek stickhandled left to right and faked a shot, sending Nettell down on his pads. Bociek snapped a wrist shot above Nettell’s glove for the lead.
“That was a little Patrick Kane-esque. He’s got great hands. He’s a big boy,” Murvich said. “When a guy goes in like that, he usually has a plan. He gave a little wiggle, made the goalie make the first move and buried it.”
About two minutes later, Sawyer Perpich sealed the win with a goal assisted by Peter Ropiak.
“It was kind of our turning point to where we backed off a little bit,” Jeffers head coach Pat Nettell said. “It was a game-changer for us. More penalties, and that was the end for us.”
The Flivvers also had 27 penalty minutes, including a five-minute head contact major and a 10-minute game misconduct by Ropiak for a hit on Ethan Therrian late in the third period. Therrian remained motionless as a trainer went out to him. Coach Nettell went onto the ice to Therrian without the referee’s permission. Nettell had words with the referee on his way back to the bench and was ejected from the game, but did not receive a penalty.
Ropiak will sit out Saturday’s game at Ashland.
The Jets (3-1) had just one power-play goal out of their man-advantage opportunities. Murvich said the team has to limit penalties moving forward.
“We have a two-goal lead and the last thing we need to be doing is giving refs an opportunity to send us to the box,” Murvich said of Ropiak’s major with 1:07 left in the game. “We need to be a little more disciplined.”
Jeffers had 23 penalty minutes, including a five-minute boarding major and a 10-minute misconduct for by Clay Larson.
The Jets rallied with two goals early in the third to erase a 5-3 deficit. Evan Larson’s power-play goal off a rebound with 7:44 left in the third tied the game. From that point on, the game sped up with harder hits.
“We had to drive hard to play physical and battle back. We had to play the same way they were playing,” Coach Nettell said. “We started out a little soft. We haven’t really been that physical yet. Tonight we finally played physical. We moved the puck, got shots — down and dirty grinding. It was a good game.”
The Flivvers’ cycle on offense had Jeffers scrambling in the second period. Kingsford tallied four goals to take a 5-3 lead going into the third period. Ropiak’s goal about three minutes into the period came on the power-play, assisted by Nick Murvich.
Coach Murvich said his team has to tighten up on defense after the Jets scored a few goals on rebounds. He also said goaltender Evan Hedtke needs to improve with controlling rebounds.
“We got to give a chance for Evan to make the first save and to control the rebound,” Murvich said. “We did not do a good job of boxing out to give him space to make those saves. We’ve worked a lot on zone offense and offensive zone entries. Our next point of emphasis is we got to work on our D-zone coverage and our breakouts.”
– – –
Jeffers 1 2 2 – 5
Kingsford 1 4 2 – 7
JHS – Michael Johnson (Dominick Nettell), 5:11
KHS – Daunte Fortner (Peter Ropiak), 9:35
KHS – Ropiak (Nick Murvich) power-play, 2:42
KHS – Colin Watkins (CJ Dantes, Eamonn Weed), 3:25
JHS – Clay Larson (Drew Harris, Jake Marcotte), 5:59
KHS – Lee Hedtke (Fortner), short-handed, 8:30
JHS – Nettell (Harris, Marcotte), 9:16
KHS – Murvich (unassisted), 9:51
JHS – Johnson (Kellen Klein, Nettell), 3:08
JHS – Evan Larson (Nettell), power-play, 6:18
KHS – Trey Bociek, penalty shot, 12:25
KHS – Sawyer Perpich (Ropiak), 14:00
KHS – Ben Schroeder (head contact), 4:18
JHS – Harris (cross-checking), 16:23
JHS – Dylan Nettell (roughing), 2:29
JHS – C. Larson (boarding major, 10-minute misconduct), 6:45
KHS – Ropiak (interference), 7:13
KHS – Perpich (interference), 7:35
KHS – L. Hedtke (elbowing), 12:25
KHS – Nick Saari (too many men), 14:35
KHS – Ropiak (charging), 6:01
JHS – Jackson Rocchi (bench minor), 13:16
KHS – Ropiak (head contact major, game misconduct), 16:53