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Jets turned away in Esky tourney

December 31, 2012
By John Vrancic - For the Gazette , The Daily Mining Gazette

WELLS - Finding the back of the net hasn't been a problem for the Escanaba hockey team most of this season.

That continued to be the case Saturday as the Eskymos skated to a 9-1 triumph over Jeffers in the championship game of the Dick Johnsen Memorial tournament.

Senior forward Nick Vandermissen hit five goals, including three in the first period, as the Eskymos built a 4-0 advantage.

"Levi (Wunder) set me up with four (goals), and I was just shooting good today," said Vandermissen. "We have a lot of speed on our team, which tends to tire out our opponents and give us more chances to score."

Wunder, who added a pair of goals, ended the contest by the goal-differential rule on a slapshot from between the circles two minutes, 16 seconds into the third period.

Esky (7-2) has won six straight since falling to Macomb Dakota 8-0 on Dec. 7 at Traverse City.

"I bring that up a lot," said Esky coach Tim McCarthy. "We weren't prepared for them, which shows you can't afford to take chances. You have to be ready to play everytime, and I'm very happy with the way we started today."

Vandermissen opened the scoring from the low slot just 83 seconds into the Saturday's game.

Senior forward Jake Eastin gave Esky a two-goal cushion on a shot from the left faceoff circle 3:44 into the contest.

"They're good," Jeffers coach David Bekkala said of the Eskymos. "There's no doubt in my mind they're a quality team. It would have taken a phenomenal effort on our part to beat them. At the same time, we're disappointed that we didn't put in a better performance. I felt that Escanaba wanted the puck and we didn't, and it showed on the scoreboard. Obviously, they're in better shape they we are."

Esky outshot the Jets 32-9. Junior goaltender Nick LeMire stopped eight shots and Jeffers junior Max Durocher had 23 saves.

"We have to get back to the basics," said Bekkala. "We're going to be facing more strong opponents, and we can't just roll over."



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