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Copper Island Classic postponed, games to be rescheduled

Hancock’s Calvin Heinonen battles in a faceoff with Jeffers’ Trevor Halonen during an exhibition game Thursday, Nov. 10, at Dee Stadium in Houghton. (Daver Karnosky/Daily Mining Gazette)

HANCOCK — Early Thursday, the Hancock and Calumet high schools announced that Friday night’s opening game of the Copper Island Classic had been postponed due a severe illness that rushed through the Hancock Bulldogs hockey team late last week and throughout the entirety of this week.

Late Thursday, in an update, the two schools announced that the Saturday game would be postponed as well.

In a statement on Facebook, Bulldogs coach Scott Mikesch thanked Copper Kings coach Dan Giachino for agreeing to search for a set of dates where both teams could play at full strength.

“I just want to thank Coach Giacchino,” said Mikesch. “I want to thank them. They didn’t have to do this. We could have ended up playing with a short bench, and it wouldn’t have been much of a series.

“He (Giachino) showed some great sportsmanship, and somewhere down the road, I would hope Hancock would do the same thing. At least when I’m here, they will for sure.”

Mikesch said that the two schools are still working on a new date for the series.

“We’re not quite sure the date yet,” he said. “We’re waiting to get that, but it’s going to be made up, and it’s going to be played with both teams at their full health. That’s a prestigious trophy. The Calumet people wanted to play when both teams are at their best.

“I thought that was really cool for them to do that.”

Hancock has struggled to field enough players to hold practice this week. On Friday, they had 10 skaters on the ice, the most they have had all week.

“Our players, our coaching staff, and I’m sure the people of Hancock, all of Hancock that are Hancock Bulldog fans, are super appreciative of the sportsmanship by Calumet,” Mikesch said. “Let’s just hope that this goes away sooner, rather than later, because it’s been hanging on. It doesn’t seem to want to go away fast.”

At this point, the Bulldogs do not have another game scheduled until Thursday, Dec.. 1, against Jeffers, but remain unsure if they will be able to field a team at this time.

“Hopefully, we get healthy over the weekend,” said Mikesch. “We have a game next Thursday, so, we’re hoping that we’re ready to go with that.”

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