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5971 articles
Tuesday June 25, 2024
ROUGH NIGHT: Eskymos Lose To Jeffers In L'Anse

Click the thumbnails to see photos and videos, and to hear interviews with Ben Sands and Davin Mattonen.

L'ANSE---
Two steps forward, one step back.


That seems to be the way things are going early in the season for the Escanaba High School hockey team.

 

The young Eskymos showed promise by winning the Traverse Ciity tournament last weekend, and by playing a tight 2-1 game in Marquette. But things went backward for the Eskymos Friday night with a 7-2 loss to the Painesdale-Jeffers Jets in L'Anse.

The game was played in L'Anse because the Jets' home ice, the Michigan Tech University Student Ice Arena, was busy with MTU hockey against Bowling Green. Also, the other three rinks in Houghton, Hancock, and Calumet were all being used by their teams as they faced downstate opponents.

So, it was on to L'Anse, where two guys live and play on the Jets' co-op team.

One of those two, Kailob Bianco, scored a hat trick in his home rink. The other, Gage Osterman from Baraga, scored a goal and had two assists in the Jets victory.

The Eskymos had a 1-0 lead in the first period when Carson Hughes scored his first career goal after a face-off win by Owen LaBonte. The rest of that period saw the Eskymos outplayed by the speedy Jets on the hard Meadowbook Arena ice, but goaltender Cully Hayes stood tall in net, stopping a breakway and three different odd-man rushes.

Finally, in the second period, the Eskymos' slow and disorganized play caught up with them. Hughes turned the puck over at his own blue line, on to the stick of Teage Rajala, who skated in on Hayes and beat him for the first goal of the game for the Jets.
 

The Jets took a 2-1 lead off another Eskymo turnover, with Bianco scored the first of his three goals just 15 seconds after Rajala's goal.

Escanaba came back to tie the game as Graham Johnson made agreat individual effort, skaing through three Jets defenders and making a pinpount pass to Brett Labre for the tap-in goal, making it a 2-2 tie heading into the middle part of the second period.

But things fell apart from there for the Eskymos.

First, the Eskymos blew a defensive assignment and Bianco was allowed to skate in all alone on Hayes. He took the pass from Osterman and roofed it, giving the Jets a 3-2 lead. Things got even worse from there as Davin Mattonen took a five-minute major penalty, and Jeffers took advantage with a Cody Turner goal off a nice setup between the circles. Escanaba managed to kill off the remaining four minutes of power play time.

That long penalty kill seemed to be the last nail in the coffin, as the Jets continued to fire away at Hayes, who finally cracked by giving up three goals in the third period, including Bianco's hat trick goal. Jeffers outshot Escanaba, 40-21, in their victory.

Escanaba (2-4-0) will be back in action Tuesday night when the Eskymos finally play a home game, against the Negaunee Miners. It will be their second home game of the season, after playing five out of six games on the road to start the season. Face-off is set for 7:00.
 









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UPPER PENINSULA HOCKEY SCORES/SCHEDULES
Saturday March 2, 2024
Marquette Rolls Past Eskymos In Regional Semi, 7-1
Friday February 23, 2024
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