• HS Boys BB 2/24: Maplewood Baptist 74, Hannahville 60
  • HS Hockey 2/24: Houghton 4, Calumet 1
  • HS Hockey 2/24: Hancock 6, Painesdale-Jeffers 4
  • HS Girls BB 2/24: Maplewood Baptist 43, Big Bay deNoc 36
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Monday February 26, 2024
Escanaba Wins Traverse City West Hockey Tourney

TRAVERSE CITY---The Escanaba High School hockey team brought home some hardware this weekend after winning the Cathy Buchanan Invitational at Traverse City's Centre Ice Arena.

The Eskymos lost to Traverse City Central, 4-3, in overtime, on Friday, before beating T.C. West, 7-3, on Saturday.

The Eskymos won the trophy on tiebreakers after Muskegon Mona Shores (who Escanaba did not play) and the two Traverse City schools all finished with 1-1 records in the weekend event.

“We have been improving in each game,” Escanaba Coach Andy Johnson said. “We moved Davin Mattonen up to forward, and he did an awesome job this weekend. It was a fun weekend of hockey.”

On Saturday, the Eskymos jumped to a 2-0 lead after the first period and held a 6-0 lead after two periods. Keagan Braun and Graham Johnson, a pair of sophomores, scored in the opening period.

In the second period, Ben Sands made it a 3-0 game, then Sands assisted on the next two goals, scored 45 seconds apart by Brett Labre and Cale Carter. The final goal of the period was scored by Alex Schwalbach, with Labre and Nolan Bink assisting.

The Titans (1-2-0) scored three straight goals in a span of just over two minutes in the third period before Carter scored his second goal of the game with just over five minutes to play to make it a 7-3 final.

Carter ended up with two goals and two assists, while Sands and Johnson both had a goal and a pair of assists for three-point nights. Owen LaBonte had two assists for the Eskymos.

On Friday, the Eskymos had a 3-1 lead with just three minutes left in the game, but couldn't hang on, as Laiken Batcha and Collin Benedict scored to send the game to overtime.

And the Trojans (2-1-0) comeback was completed at the 1:58 mark when Devin Garner's shot from the point beat Eskymo goaltender Cully Hayes.

Labre, Carter, and Mattonen scored for the Eskymos, and Hayes stopped 27 of the 31 shots he faced.

“We played a great game,” Coach Johnson said. “I thought we were good on the forecheck. Guys like Carson Hughes, Keagan Braun, and Davin Mattonen worked really hard tonight. I thought our D played good. Cully played great between the pipes. Despite the loss, we have seen improvement in each game and that is what the coaches like to see.”

Escanaba (2-2-0) will be on the road again for two more games this week.

They'll face Marquette at Lakeview Arena Tuesday night at 6:30, and then travel to L'Anse to face Painesdale-Jeffers in a neutral site game Friday night at 7:00. Both games will be broadcast live on FM-93.5 and AM-600, and on-line at www.rrnsports.com.

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