Calumet, Kingsford settle for 5-5 tie
CALUMET — On a night where co-captain Sam Erkkila picks up two goals and freshman center Tanner Rowe nets four assists, coach Dan Giachino and the Calumet Copper Kings would expect to be the victor. On the other end of the rink, Kingsford Flivvers coach Dennis Murvich would also expect to be the winner when Dante Fortner strikes three times and adds an assist.
Instead, the two teams skated to a 5-5 tie Saturday night at the Calumet Colosseum.
Despite blowing a 3-0 lead, Murvich felt his team, which has gone 2-1-1 in its last four games, played well.
“We’ve had a murderer’s row stretch there,” Murvich said. “To come out of that 2-1-1, we’ll take that. Honestly, with a bounce here, or a bounce there, we could be 4-0. That’s good for our program.”
Giachino, whose team beat Kingsford earlier this season, 4-1, was pleased with the efforts of his second line, which featured Rowe between sophomore Scott Loukus and junior Rylan Anderson. The trio accounted for three of the Copper Kings’ five tallies.
“We need the secondary scoring right now,” Giachino said. “We can’t rely on Brent (Loukus), Sam and Dean (Loukus) to do it all for us. We need to be able to get some scoring out of our second and third lines.”
Defensively, neither coach was happy with the way things went.
“We did not have a good night defensively,” Giachino said. “We weren’t physical enough. We didn’t play with enough grit. We didn’t play with enough intensity”
Murvich echoed his opponent’s comments.
“(We had) a couple of defensive lapses on our part, and they took full advantage,” Murvich said. “We need to buckle down defensively and goaltending-wise.”
Erkkila picked up his first goal of the night on a Calumet power play at 7:51 when he buried a second chance to cut Kingsford’s lead to 3-2.
For the Flivvers, the momentum changed in the Copper Kings’ favor during a 5-on-3 penalty kill just a short time later. Calumet (6-9-1 overall, 3-2-1 GLHC) found themselves down two-men for 1:58, but except for a point-blank shot from Nick Murvich, the Flivvers could not get anything going.
The Flivvers (10-6-1 overall, 4-3-1 GLHC) did finally get a fourth goal at 16:07 and appeared ready to close the second period with a two-goal advantage. However, just 30 seconds later, Erkkila blew past a Kingsford defender and beat goaltender Trevor Anderson with a wrist shot.
That goal would prove huge for the Copper Kings, who jumped out 1:11 into the third to even the game at 4-4 when Scott Loukus pounced on a rebound and backhanded it home.
Fortner picked up his hat trick goal just 1:14 later, and it appeared that Kingsford was back in control of the game.
However, Calumet continued to push.
The Copper Kings evened the game again when Scott Loukus tipped a pass from Anderson into the net at 9:36.
Despite chances from there, neither team could buy another goal.
Lee Hedkte, Dante Fortner and Reese Fortner had all scored to give the Flivvers a 3-0 lead by the 1:49 mark of the second period.
The Copper Kings broke the seal a little over three minutes later when Anderson fired a long shot that found the back of the net at 5:03.
It was announced before the game that Saturday night was referee Joe Romano’s final high school contest wearing the stripes.
– – –
Kingsford 2 2 1 0 — 5
Calumet 0 3 2 0 — 5
KHS — Lee Hedtke (Nick Murvich, Dante Fortner), 6:23, 1-0
KHS — Dante Fortner (Pete Ropiak), 16:15, 2-0
KHS — Reese Fortner (Ropiak), 1:49
CLK — Rylan Anderson (Tanner Rowe), 5:03
CLK — Sam Erkkila (Rowe, Dean Loukus), PP, 7:51
KHS — Dante Fortner (C.J. Dantes), 16:07
CLK — Erkkila (Dean Loukus, Brent Loukus), 16:37
CLK — Scott Loukus (Rowe, Anderson), 1:11
KHS — Dante Fortner, 2:25
CLK — Scott Loukus, (Anderson, Rowe), 9:36
Anderson, KHS 8 9 15 4 — 36
Voelker, CLK 10 6 7 1 — 24
KHS: 2/4; CLK: 3/6
KHS: 0/3; CLK: 1/2