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Prep Hockey: Calumet blanks Hancock again for John H. Sherf trophy

Copper Kings win 5-0 Saturday, clinch 44th Copper Island Classic

The Calumet High School hockey team celebrates with the John H. Sherf Trophy after defeating Hancock 5-0 on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

CALUMET — Calumet pinned the throttle down Saturday, bringing pressure early and often in a 5-0 win over rival Hancock in the 44th annual Copper Island Classic.

It’s Calumet’s second straight year winning the John H. Sherf trophy and 10th since 2000. The Copper Kings have won the trophy 27 times including this year. Hancock has won the Classic 17 times, the last one in 2017.

Saturday’s win followed the Copper Kings’ 3-0 win Friday.

This year was the first time in Copper Island Classic history that Hancock was shut out in both games.

The Copper Kings (2-0) put on heavy pressure pressure early after the opening face-off, leaving Hancock somewhat shell-shocked in its own zone. Calumet outshot the Bulldogs 11-1 seven minutes into the game.

Calumet's Scott Loukus, second from left, and Gabe Coppo, right, take the John H. Sherf Trophy from Calumet High School athletic director Sean Jacques, left, after defeating Hancock 5-0 on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Calumet ended the game with 36 shots on Hancock sophomore goalie Isaak Pietila.

“I thought we played a much better game tonight,” Calumet head coach Dan Giachino said. “We had a lot more jump. All three lines had a lot of energy and a lot of legs tonight. Our puck movement got a little bit better. We’ve still got a little ways to go there, but we got some more time to work on that this week. Overall, thought it was a good start to the year.

“That first seven, eight minutes of the game we came out on fire and that’s the way we have to play a 51-minute game. If we play that way a good majority of the game, we’re going to be a lot for teams to handle.”

Calumet had a 2-0 lead to go along with its lopsided shots advantage seven minutes into the game.

Jackson Rilei struck first for the Copper Kings three minutes into the game. His goal was assisted by Alex Mattila.

Calumet goalie Alex Studebaker (30) reaches back to cover the puck against Hancock on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Four minutes later, Scott Loukus scored with assists from Dean Loukus and Gabe Coppo.

Hancock (0-2) was without senior Petr Anderson, who’s day to day after he suffered a sprained ankle in Friday’s game when he lost an edge on a rut and went hard into the boards.

With Anderson out of the game, it forced Hancock head coach Dan Rouleau to reorganize his lines and left his depth that much shorter.

“We’re a team that (Friday) night, the line Pete was playing on didn’t give up a goal,” Rouleau said. “Now you lose that factor, then you have to put another guy there from another guy. He’s one of our better players and good defensively. That definitely had something to do with the five-goal deficit and the three-goal deficit last night. Pete does a lot for us and does it well. We definitely missed him.”

Calumet’s heavy forecheck and offensive pressure exploited Hancock’s line adjustments. The pressure came regardless of which Bulldogs players were out there. The Bulldogs were at times forced into cycles of play where they were pinned in their own zone by Calumet’s forecheck and needing to clear the puck down the ice.

Calumet's Scott Loukus (11) tries to gather a rebound in front of Hancock goalie Isaak Pietila (1) on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

But because Hancock was unable to change after icing the puck, the Bulldogs had to somehow withstand the pressure and get a whistle.

The constant pressure wore down Hancock as the game went on. The Bulldogs managed more offensive pressure in the second period, despite a game-low of four shots in the period. Hancock had six shots in the third, with most coming from outside the slot.

Tanner Rowe scored in the second, with assists from Mattila and Cam Kauppinen.

Dean Loukus scored 53 seconds into the third, with an assist from Scott Loukus. Mattila notched the Copper Kings’ final goal two minutes later, with assists from Rilei and Rowe.

“Weren’t as good as last night obviously — 5-0 game, shot differential a bit wider,” Rouleau said. “I just think Calumet skated better (Saturday) than they did (Friday) night. I think we gave them some of that room by not being as physical tonight as we were (Friday). All in all, have to score a goal to win a game, right?

Hancock's Austin Salani (4) shoots as Calumet's Tom Erkkila (8) defends on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

“(Calumet) got a couple of good bounces. You get them good bounces with hard work and they were working hard. They were at the right spot at the right time and buried them.”

Despite the game opening up in the end, Rouleau said his team still battled hard. Early on, facing the two-goal deficit, it seemed like a lucky bounce and a goal could have ignited his team.

“That part was similar to (Friday) — we felt like last night if we could just get that first goal, we could make it a 3-2, 3-3 game,” Rouleau said. “(Saturday) it was close early. They out-shot us a little bit. We just gotta get that first goal and we just couldn’t light the lamp this weekend. That’ll come. It’s something we obviously gotta work on.”

Alex Studebaker earned his second shutout in as many nights for the Copper Kings. He made 15 saves Saturday, including one in which he found and covered a rebound behind him just inches from the goal line.

“Another solid game. We gave up a few scoring chances in the second period there,” Giachino said. “Kind of the same as we did (Friday). When we needed him to make those three, four saves during the course of the night, he was able to do that. Not a ton of work, but the timely saves were definitely important both nights.”

The Calumet High School hockey team poses with the John H. Sherf Trophy after defeating Hancock 5-0 on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Giachino said maintaining intensity with a big lead against a rival like the Bulldogs wasn’t a challenge for his team.

“I think with the rivalry that’s between the two teams, I think to score as many as you can is in their DNA when it comes to a rivalry game,” Giachino said. “I think that goes for anybody. You wanna score as many goals as you can against those teams that you’ve kind’ve grown up playing against and had battles with since they were little.”

Hancock 0 0 0 — 0

Calumet 2 1 2 — 5

First Period — 1, Cal, Rilei (Mattila), 2:53. 2, Cal, S. Loukus (D. Loukus, G. Coppo), 6:58. Penalties–Cal, Erkkila (cross-checking), 7:37. Han, Lorenzetti (roughing), 12:37. Cal, S. Loukus (unsportsmanlike), 12:37.

Second Period — 3, Cal, T. Rowe (Mattila, Kauppinen), 6:06. Penalties–Cal, S. Coppo (interference), 2:31. CAL, Beiring (interference), 7:24. Cal, H. Rowe (boarding), major, 8:55. Han, Randell (tripping), 13:26.

Third Period — 4, Cal, D. Loukus (S. Loukus), 0:53. 5, Cal, Mattila (Rilei, T. Rowe), 2:44. Penalties–Han, Lorenzetti (slashing), 15:48.

Shots on Goal–Han 5-4-6–15. Cal 15-8-13–36.

Power-play Opportunities–Han 0 for 4; Cal 0 for 2.

Saves–Han, I. Pietila 13-7-11–31. Cal, Studebaker 5-4-6–15.

Hancock's Austin Salani (4) controls the puck as Calumet's Alex Mattila (16) pursues on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Hancock goalie Isaak Pietila makes a save against Calumet on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Calumet's Scott Loukus (11) shoots against Hancock on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Hancock's Colton Salani (8) shoots against Calumet on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Hancock's Paul Lorenzetti (18) clears the puck as Calumet's Tanner Rowe (5) pursues on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Calumet's Lincoln Beiring (3) controls the puck as Hancock's Austin Salani (4) pursues on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Calumet's Tanner Rowe (5) wins a draw against Hancock's Austin Salani (4) on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

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