Lots of fun, learning had during Hockey Saturday
Saturday was a very busy day at the Houghton County Arena and the Dee Stadium as the Copper Country Junior Hockey Association held their annual Jim Markham Memorial Hockey Saturday.
Hancock Fire 7, Houghton Fire 3
Houghton Fire faced the Hancock Fire in 8U action. Houghton came out hot in the first period for a three-goal lead with two goals from Keedi Roberts, one at 7:16 and a rebound shot and another at 3:38. Houghton’s Jake Math extended the lead at 11:47 in the opening frame.
“Our team has struggled all year with early morning games and and showing up to play on time,” said Hancock coach Ryan Saatio. “We got down to a 3-0 deficit there. We had to wait until the second period to get our team rolling. It was an all out team effort to fight our way back and tie it up and ultimately go ahead and win.”
Saatio was happy with his team’s gameplay along with their overall growth this season.
Hancock struck five times in the middle frame the first by Mannie Trewartha with 9:30 left on the clock. Braden Kari added a hat trick, the first on a shot from the upper right circle at 6:14, and second with 2:15 left.
“Both teams played exceptionally well,” said Saatio “As a coach, I’m so proud of these kids (on) both teams. Ultimately, it wasn’t me or my assistant coach John French that won the game, it was these kids. (They) have fought and battled all year long.”
Hancock fire’s Chase Keranew stuck twice in the middle frame, the first a shot right and second a shot left.
The third Kari scored his third to put Hancock up, 6-3. Trewartha added his second goal of the day to seal the win.
“It was a great day for mite hockey,” said Houghton coach Steve Mattson. “(It’s) too bad (that) the ice conditions weren’t ideal. Both teams played hard. It was a great end to a season our kids had fun playing hockey and improved. Both teams really improved through the season. Hancock’s been tough team all year but we gave it our best shot. They’re the best team, so congrats to the champs.”
“I think the community enjoys it,” said Mattson of playing on Hockey Saturday. “It’s a lot of fun to get everybody out and mark the beginning of spring (and) the end of hockey season. It’s a great day.”
CCJHA Yellow 11, CCJHA Black 8
CCJHA Black and Yellow 6U played the second game of the day. Yellow came out on top with an 11-8 win.
“The season went great,” said CCJHA Black and Yellow 6U coach Carl Arko. “The kids have come a long way (while having) a lot of fun (and) participating. Today is just a culmination of getting everybody to celebrate the whole season.
“(We’ve seen) a lot of good things. Kids have come a long way from hardly being able to skate all the way down the ice to playing in a full game competitively, which is really cool to see from the start of the year to the end of the year.”
Dollar Bay Linoleum and Tile 4, Edward Jones 1
The third game of the day, a 10U matchup between Edward Jones and Dollar Bay Linoleum and Tile was moved to Dee Stadium due to Zamboni issues.
Dollar Bay Tile topped Edward Jones for a 4-1 victory after breaking a 1-1 tie in the second period with a power play goal with 7:10 left in the period by Forest LaBeau, who advanced up the right side and fired one into the right top corner.
“Our kids brought a lot of hustle today,” Jeff VanKarsen, Dollar Bay Linoleum and Tile coach. “They took it to them the entire game. We went out there and we just outworked them and we earned a really big win against a really good team.
“One of the things that rewarding about coaching junior hockey is the amount that the kids games grow throughout the year. The difference between the beginning or the year and the end of the year for every player on the team is just night and day.”
Dollar Bay added two empty net goals from Bradi Jenkins with 1:06 remaining and Jax Pierner with 27 seconds left sealed the win.
“It was just a good effort by all the kids,” said Edward Jones coach Aaron Helminen. “I think they all improved on the both teams from the beginning of the season to the end. All the kids improved on all their skills and work effort and everything like that.”
Good sportsmanship is what the day is all about.
“It (creates) good sportsmanship for all the kids to compete,” Helminen said. “Whether they win or lose, that’s part of life. You’ve got to win and lose. It’s good for them.”
M&M Powersports 5, Tervo Agency 4
The final game of the day featured Tervo Agency and M&M Powersports in 12U actlon. At the end of the day, M&M found a way to sneak out a 5-4 win at Dee Stadium.
After a nearly scoreless first period of play, Tervo’s Camron Anderson passed to Brett Gaff, who shot into the right side of the net for a power play goal with 16 seconds remaining in the first period.
M&M evened things up with a goal from Brogan Turner with 10:59 left in the second. Turner struck three more times in the game, the first coming with 1:07 left in the second period off a feed from Cody Turner.
The two Turners connected again in in the third with 7:41 left in the third to put M&M up 4-3.
Brogan Turner then potted his fourth of the day, shorthanded to give M&M their fifth tally with 6:04 left.
“We were missing one of our players but we just played a hard game,” said M&M Powersports coach Andy Turner. “This team that we played today, we’ve been back and fourth all year with them (in) close games. Our kids played exceptionally hard and it was an overall good effort between everybody.”
Tervo locked in two second period goals with shots from the middle of the blue line by Brenton Rajala. The two tallies came 40 seconds apart and the second was offa pass from Adam Mikkola at 9:54.
“Our goalie D.J. (Archambeau) made a couple good saves there at the end of the game to help us out,” said Coach Turner.
Drew Sturos and Jackson Sintkowski drew Tervo close, but they ran out of time to try and tie things up before the final buzzer.
Tervo Agency coach Mike Mikkola saw his team miss a few scoring opportunities and that made a difference in the end, but he is proud of how far his team has come this season.
“It was a good game between two good teams and at the end of the day, M&M came out on top,” he said. “I just thought as a team we passed up some shot opportunities that we should’ve taken but didn’t and, at the end of the day, that was the difference.
“Overall, it was a great season. We all improved (and), as a team, we improved throughout the season and that’s what you want to see. It’s part of a hockey culture in our community.”