Team CC earns win, tie over weekend

FAIRBAULT, Minn. — In taking on the Shattuck-St. Mary’s Sabres 18U team Tier 1 team, Team Copper Country 18U Tier 2 could get a sense of how good they were by how they fared during a fall weekend in the Old Rink on Shattuck’s campus. With a win and a tie this past weekend, Team CC served notice that are not afraid of the Sabres any longer.

“It has been a measuring stick for our program the last three years,” said head coach Micah Stipech. “We used to view it as an upset. Now, they know who we are.”

On Saturday, Team CC (23-1-2 overall) used two in each of the final two periods to earn a 5-4 win.

Team CC struck first, just a minute in when Hancock’s Alex Nordstrom found the back of the net.

The quick start helped Team CC set the tone.

“We dictated the pace of the game,” said Stipech. “We were the team to beat.”

With the game tied, 1-1, in the second, Kingsford’s Dante Fortner struck early to put Team CC back in the lead at 2:29. After the Sabres struck to even the game less than two minutes later.

Nordstrom picked up his second of the night at 9:51 to regain the one-goal advantage, only to have the Sabres even things again just before the period expired.

Fortner regained the lead for Team CC at the 8:47 mark of the third as Hancock’s Teddy Randell picked up his third assist of the night. Fortner added his hat trick tally with 2:53 left in regulation, putting Team CC up, 5-3, for the first time.

The Sabres cut the lead to 5-4 with 41.5 left in the contest, but that was as close as they would get before the final buzzer sounded.

In the Sunday contest, Team CC again jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but this time it was Kingsford’s Joe Murvich at the 5:54 mark of the middle frame. Marquette’s Joe Phillips and Calumet’s Sam Erkkila both assisted on the tally.

Staring a Parents’ Weekend sweep in the face, the Sabres rallied four-and-a-half minutes later when Marquette native Luke Beerman struck unassisted to even the contest.

After that Sabres goal, Calumet’s Nick Voelker shut the door, finishing his night with 23 stops in the 1-1 tie.

“We had many chances to win the game [Sunday] that we didn’t capitalize on,” said Stipech. “Each game was a battle. They didn’t want to get swept on their Parents’ Weekend.”

Stipech was proud of the effort of his team throughout the two games.

“Our kids play better when we play in games like this weekend,” said Stipech.

SPLIT SEASON TOURNAMENT

Next up on the schedule for Team CC is the split season qualifier tournament in Jackson this weekend. They will open their tournament schedule with Lansing at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

The qualifier is the first step for Team CC in their fight to defend their national title from last spring. If they win the tournament, they will return to action after the high school season to take part in the state championship.

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