Jeffers loses to Kingsford 7-4

Jeffers goaltender Noah Nettell makes a save against Kingsford on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, in Iron Mountain, Mich. (Adam Niemi/Iron Mountain Daily News)

IRON MOUNTAIN — Kingsford overcame a sluggish night to beat Jeffers 7-4 on Tuesday in Iron Mountain.

The Flivvers (11-5-1) found bursts of offense with three goals each in the first and second periods, but head coach Dennis Murvich said the team lacked a certain polish it showed in recent games.

“A little ugly out there tonight. I wouldn’t say there was much pretty about that. I guess a win’s a win and we’ll take it,” he said. “A little bit sloppy with passing. Our (defensive) zone coverage wasn’t great. We didn’t bury chances that we had. We let that game go probably longer than we should because we couldn’t finish.”

Daunte Fortner, the No. 5 high school scorer in the state, tallied four points including two goals and two assists. Linemate Nick Murvich notched a hat trick with an assist.

Matthew Halonen had a pair of goals for Jeffers (6-9).

The puck bounced off a Jeffers player and into the net with 38 seconds left in the first period. The officials discussed the play and reversed the goal call, keeping Kingsford’s lead at 3-1 going into the second period.

“The ref on the goal line said it was in, while the ref up on the blue line said, ‘I didn’t see it, but it didn’t look good.’ What do you say? They disallowed it, whatever,” Jeffers coach Pat Nettell said. “That would’ve been a huge goal that would’ve turned the game over. At the beginning of the opening shift we had a shot right off the pipe.”

Adding to Murvich’s dissatisfaction after the game was the Flivvers rattling the post five times throughout the night. It underscored a night when Kingsford appeared out of sync after a tough four-game stretch over the past week and a half, including two games against Houghton (win and loss), Calumet (tie) and Marquette (win).

“We probably had the toughest four games of any team in the state the last week and a half. I think you get up for every one of those games because you got to be at your best against Calumet and Houghton and Marquette,” Murvich said. “I don’t think we took Jeffers lightly because they battled us hard the first time around. I just think maybe we had a little bit of a let-down because it wasn’t Calumet, Houghton or Marquette.”

Kingsford was also whistled for six penalties. The Kingsford coaching staff was assessed a misconduct in the third period. Murvich said afterward that the staff’s discord stemmed from uncalled slashes across his players’ sticks, legs and arms.

The Flivvers fended off five power plays on the night and held a 26-22 shot advantage. Their newfound speed and depth this year has been a thorn for teams all year, and have become a new measuring stick for Jeffers.

“They’re just like playing Calumet, Houghton,” Nettell said. “Kingsford’s with all those bigger teams right now, that says something for us.”

Noah Nettell made 19 saves for the Jets. Murvich pulled Trevor Anderson after giving up his third goal of the game in the second period. Evan Hedtke came in relief.

“I think our goalie got caught in a few bad positions, but then he also did come up huge,” Coach Nettell said. “It’s tough in those battles in the hash marks, it’s tough to see all those pucks. I think we got to do a better job clearing guys out in front of our net. That’s what we’re going to be working on.”

Jeffers plays in the Wishigan Cup tournament this weekend at MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

– – –

Jeffers 1 2 1 — 4

Kingsford 3 3 1 — 7

First Period

KHS – Nick Murvich (Daunte Fortner, CJ Dantes), short-handed, 3:33

JHS – Matthew Halonen (unassisted), power-play, 3:50

KHS – Fortner (unassisted), 7:55

KHS – David Brule III (TJ Burke, Nick Saari), 14:54

Second Period

JHS – Kellen Klein (Luke Marcotte, Clay Larson), 2:17

KHS – Murvich (Fortner, Dantes), 3:23

JHS – Drew Harris (Dominick Nettell), 11:54

KHS – Pete Ropiak (Trey Bociek), 12:32

KHS – Fortner (Murvich), 13:53

Third Period

KHS – Murvich (unassisted), short-handed, 14:17

JHS – Halonen (Jake Marcotte), 16:44

JHS KHS

Shots 22 26

Power-plays 1-6 0-2

Penalties 2/4 6/20

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