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Monday July 22, 2024
Escanaba Cruises Past Kingsford For Home Ice Win

Click the thumbnails to see photos taken by Cooper LaMrach, videos taken by Lizzie Taylor, and to hear post-game interviews with Owen LaBonte, Graham Johnson, Cully Hayes, and Coach Andy Johnson. Also click the AUDIO button to hear player spotlight interviews with seniors Brett Labre and Isaiah Boyce.

The Escanaba High School hockey team picked up its first win of the season Tuesday night, beating the Kingsford Flivvers, 7-2, in a battle of two depleted hockey teams.

The Flivvers put a young team on the ice after a mass exodus of their top players, including their potential All-State goaltender, during the off-season. And the Eskymos came in with only two seniors on the roster after graduation hit the program hard after last year's MHSAA Division Three regional championship.

On Tuesday night, the Eskymos took advantage of Flivvers sophomore goaltender Nate Scullon for six goals in a game that was filled with penalties, most of them stick infractions.

The teams combined for 13 power play opportunities in the game. They both scored on the power play, and they both scored while shorthanded.

Escanaba got two goals apiece from junior Alex Schwalbach, and sophomores Graham Johnson, and Owen LaBonte, while sophomore Keagan Braun scored once (plus another that was called off due to a hand-pass violation).

Escanaba sophomore Goaltender Cully Hayes, after allowing eleven goals on 18 shots in an ugly loss in Houghton last Friday night, bounced back nicely with 35 saves on 37 shots as the Flivvers had stretches of territorial advantage in outshooting Escanaba, 37-30.


Kingsford got goals from Jake Powell (power play) and Jack Supanicjh (shorthanded) in what was their season opener.

Powell's goal gave Kingsford a 1-0 lead just 1:57 into the game, with Cale Carter in the box for elbowing. Schwalbach countered with a power play goal at the 4:49 mark for Escanaba, then Johnson scored a pretty goal at the 11:31 mark to give Escanaba a 2-1 lead.

In the second period, Schwalbach was in the box for a head contact penalty, but the Eskymos scored shorthanded as LaBonte went in on a breakway and put it top-shelf at the 3:41 mark to make it 3-1.

Then, less than four minutes later, Johnson went in on a breakaway of his own and went to his backhand, also top shelf, to make it a 4-1 lead at the 7:28 mark of the second period.

It appeared that Braun had extended the lead when he put one by Scullon, but a hand-pass infraction wiped the goal off the board. It didn't take long for Braun to get it back, on the power play, at the 9:19 mark, putting Escanaba in front, 5-1.

Schwalbach found Scullon's five-hole for his second goal at the 12:23 mark, prompting the Flivvers to change goaltenders, bringing in senior Brett Berglund. He did his job, allowing only one Eskymo goal, to LaBonte, with 16 seconds left in the third period.

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