Hancock surrenders 3 straight goals, loses to OLSM
HANCOCK — One would think that Hancock Bulldogs head coach Dan Rouleau would be more disappointed in his team’s second loss of the season. Instead, the long-time hockey coach was pleased with the effort his team gave, despite surrendering three straight goals to the visiting Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Eaglets in a 3-2 loss Saturday at the Houghton County Arena.
“I thought we competed pretty well against a very, very good hockey team,” Rouleau said. “We played them tough … I thought we played well.”
Rouleau’s Bulldogs, which skated with its top scorers — captain Teddy Randell and assistant captain Alex Nordstrom — on separate lines, held a two-goal lead 7:14 into the second period before the Eaglets found their footing.
After freshman Austin Salani, who scored the Bulldogs’ first goal at 5:36 of the second on a power play, set up junior Petr Anderson in the slot for the second tally, things looked good for the hosts as they had the lead, the momentum, and the crowd on their side.
That was when Eaglets coach Brian Klanow knew he needed to settle his troops. He called his timeout and gathered his skaters to remind them of what they had to do.
“When you go down two quick goals, then they start to over-press,” Klanow said. “[They] try to do too much and then everything falls apart. It was time to bring them together, tell them ‘We’re okay. We just have to play through it. We’ve been here before.’ “
It was the reset his team clearly needed as it responded 1:34 later when Hunter Baudino, who had taken a slashing penalty leading to the advantage where Salani opened the game’s scoring, blew past Nordstrom at the Hancock (10-3-0 overall) blue line and then beat assistant captain Dawson Kero with a quick move to his backhand.
Klanow was pleased to see his senior step up and move the puck quickly in getting the goal.
“I told him, ‘You owe us one,’ “ Klanow said. “So, he made good on that.”
From that point forward, the Eaglets (8-3-0 overall) showed the same speed that helped them rack up five goals against Calumet as Ryan Tucker evened the game at 14:51 of the middle frame when he drove between a pair of Hancock defenders, skated in alone on Kero and beat him with a wrist shot.
In the third period, the Bulldogs, who dress three lines, were worn down by the Eaglets, who dress four. The hosts got their first shot of the period four and a half minutes in when Nordstrom got the puck along the right boards and wired a wrister on goal. The second came over eight minutes later on a tip by Salani.
“They have a lot of depth on that team, three, four lines,” Rouleau said. “It all comes with the depth they have. We are a three-line, they are a four-line team. They have a ton of seniors … They have been playing together for a while.”
In between, Baudino gave the Eaglets the lead for good when he buried a feed from Tucker at 7:11.
The Bulldogs pressed late in the contest, but a penalty after the whistle ended the momentum they built for the final two minutes of the contest.
Hancock returns to action Tuesday when they host Kingsford.
– – –
Orchard Lake 0 2 1 — 3
Hancock 0 2 0 — 2
Hancock — Austin Salani (Alex Nordstrom, Teddy Randell), PP, 5:36
Hancock — Petr Anderson (Salani, Nordstrom), 7:14
OLSM — Hunter Baudino, SH, 8:48
OLSM — Ryan Tucker (Dane Pelkey, Nick Cloud), 14:51
OLSM – Baudino (Tucker, Kyle Iverson), 7:11
OLSM: Beals — 4 8 2 — 14
Hancock: Kero — 10 5 7 — 22
OLSM: 6/12; HAN: 3/6
OLSM: 0/2; HAN: 1/6