CALUMET - Both teams turned to their go-to guys, and Calumet's proved a goal better than Kingsford's in a 5-4 Great Lakes Hockey Conference win Saturday at Calumet Colosseum.
Calumet tilted a back-and-forth affair its way in the third period, with Eric Mattila scoring on the power play for his second of the game to tie it with 10:49 to play and Brendan Jacques notching the game-winner with 6:50 to go just seconds after the expiration of a Kingsford penalty.
"Same as we played in Kingsford. Same thing. We won that game 4-2, but it was the same type of game. We got a big power-play goal in that one and we got a big power-play goal in this one," Calumet coach Jim Crawford observed.
Calumet’s Braden Anderson puts a hit on Kingsford’s Alec Tuchowski during Saturday’s game at Calumet Colosseum. The Copper Kings won 5-4. (DMG photo by Brandon Veale)
Brothers Reid and Ted Pietila scoed two goals apiece for the Flivvers, and it was Ted's second of the game that put Kingsford ahead at the 2:51 mark of the third, but about two minutes later, Kingsford's Alec Tuchowski had to take a penalty to prevent a major scoring opportunity. A minute into the penalty, Mattila worked a give-and-go with Jacques to tie it up.
"We've been working on it a lot in practice, with the low ice movement and the give-and-gos that force one D to commit, then give it back. It worked out nice and made a nice play for him out in front to bury that tying goal," Jacques said.
Kingsford's Ted Pietila took another minor about two minutes later on a slash along the boards. On the stat sheet, it will go down as a penalty killed, but as Pietila escaped the box, Jacques circled to the top of the right circle and fired a laser past goaltender Wes Paupore.
Kingsford 1 2 1 - 4
Calumet 2 1 2 - 5
First period - 1, KNG - Ted Pietila (Alex Wiitanen, Adam Szabo), :58; 2, CAL - Reilly Schreiber 3 (unassisted), 5:51; 3, CAL - Lucas Lahnala 10 (Brendan Jacques), 10:39.
Second period - 4, KNG - Reid Pietila (Wiitanen, T. Pietila), 2:23; 5, CAL - Eric Mattila 10 (Schreiber), 12:02; 6, KNG - R. Pietila (Wiitanen), 13:02.
Third period - 7, KNG - T. Pietila (R. Pietila, Sean Ryan), 2:51; 8, CAL - Mattila 11 (Jacques, Lahnala), 6:11 (PP); 9, CAL - Jacques 7 (Bryce Johnson), 10:10.
Power-play opportunities - Kingsford 0-for-1; Calumet 1-for-5
Penalties - Kingsford 5/10, Calumet 1/2.
Goalie saves - KNG, Wes Paupore 36 (11-12-13); CAL, Troy Pierce 31 (13-9-9).
"I wasn't supposed to be playing D, but I was covering for Bryce on the top point. He made a nice play back and I needed to get the puck on net, so I just let one go and it was fortunate to go in," Jacques said.
Kingsford had about seven minutes to find an equalizer but lost two minutes down the stretch to a kneeing call and, though the performance was better than in a 6-2 loss to Houghton at Dee Stadium Thursday, the result was not.
"We skated a little better, just a few too many penalties in that third," Kingsford coach Jim Peterson said.
Kingsford, for which Ted Pietila scored just 58 seconds into the game, played a physically imposing game.
"That Pietila kid's as strong as a bull, No. 10. He's a strong, tough kid. Boy, he's a great hockey player. You try and contain him the best you can, but he's tough," Crawford said.
However, that early lead became a deficit by the first intermission after goals by the Kings' Reilly Schreiber and Lucas Lahnala.
"We're not picking up that extra guy in front and that cost us the first two goals," Peterson said.
Paupore stopped 36 shots for the Flivvers, while Troy Pierce made 31 saves for Calumet (9-7, 4-0 GLHC).
The Copper Kings will play at Houghton Tuesday night.