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Prep Hockey: Calumet rallies past Brother Rice, 5-3

The Calumet's Alex Mattila (16) celebrates his goal with teammates Tanner Rowe (5) and Lincoln Beiring (3) against Birmingham Brother Rice on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

CALUMET — Trailing 2-0 at home Saturday night and staring at the continuation of a major penalty, the Division 3 No. 1 Calumet hockey team found itself in need of a spark.

A pair of shorthanded goals provided the needed spark the Copper Kings needed to rally and defeat the Division 2 No. 1 Brother Rice Warriors 5-3 at the Calumet Colosseum.

For Calumet head coach Dan Giachino’s squad, the first shorthanded goal by junior center Tanner Rowe sparked a three-goal outburst in two and a half minutes that changed the course of the game.

“It took us a little fire underneath us to get going a little bit and those shorthanded goals (were what we needed),” he said. “I mean, those are huge. You score two of them in two and a half minutes, that doesn’t happen very often. That ignites that team, that ignites the bench, and certainly helps you long term.”

Awarded a major power play in the second after senior winger Alex Mattila took a major penalty for boarding, the Warriors extended their lead to 2-0 when Alex Andoni beat senior goaltender Alex Studebaker with a wrist shot from the right circle at 12:05. He had taken a well-placed pass from Ryan Murphy that allowed him to quickly turn and fire the shot.

Calumet's Cameron Kauppinen (19) battles for the puck against Birmingham Brother Rice's Ryan Murphy (21) on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

The goal was the Warriors’ second power play goal of the night, and up to that point, they had dictated the pace of the game.

Rowe responded quickly for the Copper Kings. Stealing a puck at the Warriors’ blue line, Rowe skated in alone, deked to his backhand and beat goaltender Cooper Duncan between the legs at 13:12.

The Copper Kings (12-1-1) then killed off 43 seconds of 5-on-3 to close out the major and Mattila quickly found time and space to get the goal back that his penalty caused. He drove in low, picked up a pass from Rowe, made a move to his backhand as he crossed the crease and beat Duncan at 15:34 for Calumet’s second straight shorthanded goal.

The back-to-back goals for the Copper Kings were set up by poor puck management by the Warriors, something coach Kenny Chaput feels is his team’s Achilles’ heel at the moment.

“Particularly, in the last two weeks, our puck management hasn’t been good,” he said. “We’ve gotten away with things, we didn’t get away with it today. It’s just that simple.

Calumet's Alex Mattila (16) bodychecks Birmingham Brother Rice's Ryan Murphy (21) on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

“We continue to give opponents opportunities such as that, and our goalies have played well in saving us in some of those cases, but we didn’t get it today. I mean, we can’t continue to give breakaways, especially shorthanded breakaways.”

Not long after Mattila’s tally, the Copper Kings continued to buzz around Duncan’s crease and were eventually rewarded. Captain Scott Loukus had a chance from the right circle that Duncan stopped. He tracked down his own rebound and fed it out front to junior center Dean Loukus, whose shot ricocheted off Duncan’s right leg and into the left circle. Senior winger Gabe Coppo jumped on the rebound and beat Duncan back to the net for an even-strength tally at 16:46.

The stretch gave the Copper Kings the confidence they needed to finish strong.

“We scored three goals there and to score two goals and in the last basically 1:15 of the period, that’s huge to close out a period. “You’re thinking with a five-minute (major), you might be happy going into the third period down two and all of a sudden you’re up one three minutes later. Those are big swings, and they’re momentum swings, and we desperately needed that shot of momentum.”

Calumet earned a major power play of their own with just 5:20 left in the contest. Looking to add to their lead, they were able to do so when Coppo got to a rebound off a shot from junior center Dean Loukus and beat Duncan at 14:42.

Calumet's Gabe Coppo (13) celebrates his goal against Birmingham Brother Rice goaltender Cooper Duncan (1) on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

That should have been enough to seal the victory for the hosts, but a dump-in off the ensuing faceoff by Matthew Herb hit a stanchion and kicked back towards the Copper Kings’ net while Studebaker skated to the corner to play the puck and suddenly the Warriors were back with one just six seconds later.

The Warriors (10-2-1) pulled Duncan for an extra attacker, but turned the puck over near the Calumet blue line. Senior defenseman Lincoln Beiring put it off the boards to Dean Loukus, who skated into the offensive zone and deposited the puck into the empty net at 15:58, sealing the win.

The Warriors’ scored their first goal of the night by taking advantage of 58 seconds of a two-man advantage as Nick Marone found himself alone to Studebaker’s left. With everyone’s focus on the puck, which was Studebaker’s right, Nick Marone circled until a shot from Ryan Marone kicked off of Studebaker’s leg pad and right to him. Nick then quickly beat the Calumet netminder with a wrist shot at 7:11 of the opening period.

Brother Rice 1 1 1 — 3

Calumet 0 3 2 — 5

Calumet's Seth Coppo (10) passes to a teammate as Birmingham Brother Rice goaltender Cooper Duncan (1) defends on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

First Period–1, BBR, N. Marone (R. Marone, Murphy), 7:11, pp.

Second Period–2, BBR, Andoni (Murphy, Dixon), 12:05, pp. 3, CHS, T. Rowe, 13:12, sh. 4, CHS, Mattila (Rowe), 15:34, sh. 5, CHS, G. Coppo (D. Loukus, S. Loukus), 16:46.

Third Period–6, CHS, G. Coppo (D. Loukus), 14;42, pp. 7, BBR, Herb (Dixon), 14:48, sh. 8, CHS, D. Loukus (Beiring, S. Loukus), 15:58, pp, en.

Shots on Goal–BBR 19-9-9–37. CHS 6-9-10–25.

Power-play Opportunities–BBR 2 of 4. CHS 2 of 3

Calumet's Tanner Rowe (5) shoots against Birmingham Brother Rice goaltender Cooper Duncan (1) on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Goalies–BBR, Duncan 6-6-8–20 saves. CHS, Studebaker 18-8-8–34.

Penalties-minutes–BBR 2-7; CHS 4-11

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