• American Legion BB 6/21: Escanaba 9, Plover 7
  • American Legion BB 6/21: Gladstone 8, Niagara 0
  • American Legion BB 6/21: Marquette 12, Saginaw 3
  • American Legion BB 6/21: Norway 7, Copper Country 4
  • American Legion BB 6/21: Norway 13, Eastern U.P. 2
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.

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.

Choose team:
No schedule entries

Saturday March 2, 2024
Marquette Rolls Past Eskymos In Regional Semi, 7-1
Friday February 23, 2024
4-1: Escanaba Hockey Tops DePere On Senior Night
Saturday February 10, 2024
DE JA VU: Eskymos Steal Victory From Manistique
Wednesday February 7, 2024
BOUNCING BACK: Eskymo Hockey Routs Shawano
Saturday February 3, 2024
BUSY WEEK STARTS: Eskymos Roll Past Negaunee
Wednesday January 31, 2024
STUNNING RALLY! Eskymos Beat Emeralds Again
Wednesday January 17, 2024
UP Hockey Teams Battle In Overtime At Showcase
Sunday January 14, 2024
Eskymo Hockey Grinds For 5-3 Win Over Bay City
Friday January 12, 2024
Eskymos Break Losing Skid With Win In Kingsford
Friday January 5, 2024
HOLIDAY HOCKEY: Eskymos Hold Alumni Games
Sunday December 24, 2023
Saturday December 23, 2023
Big Third Period Helps Hancock Top Eskymos, 5-2
Saturday December 16, 2023
Johnson's Four Points Help Esky Win In Wisconsin
Wednesday December 13, 2023
Bink Gets Seven Points As Eskymos Smack Miners
Wednesday December 6, 2023
Escanaba Cruises Past Kingsford For Home Ice Win
Wednesday November 22, 2023