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Monday February 26, 2024
Bink Gets Seven Points As Eskymos Smack Miners

Click the thumbnails to see photos taken by Cooper LaMarch, videos taken by Liz Taylor, and to hear interviews with Nolan Bink, Alex Schwalbach, Carson Hughes, Graham Johnson, and Coach Andy Johnson. Also click the AUDIO buttons to hear the radio replay from the game.

Nolan Bink had a goal and six assists as the Escanaba Eskymos beat a shorthanded Negaunee Miners team, 10-2, Tuesday night, at the Wells Sports Complex. Alex Schwalbach added a hat trick and Carson Hughes chipped in two goals in the win.

While the Miners were shorthanded, the Eskymos were not sympathetic, considering they had their own problems to deal with following a rough last Friday against Painesdale-Jeffers.

"I said in between the first and second periods that we needed to move pucks and shoot off passes," Escanaba Coach Andy Johnson said. "In the second period, things started going a little easier going to the net, getting screens, getting traffic. Their goalie, Patrick Klumpp,  was setting up and making those first saves, but then the rebounds, he was having more trouble with."

Escanaba outshot Negaunee, 20-5, in the first period, with Schwalbach getting the first goal, Owen LaBonte rifiing home the second, and Bink making a nice move to get the team's third goal (after his first shot was stopped by Klumpp).

"I just got the puck at the point, made one move, and followed my rebound, and put it in the back of the net," Bink said.

But it was Bink's passing that was the highlight of this one, as he assisted on six of the team's nine goals, something the sophomore says that he's never done in his hockey career.

"We were looking for a big bounce-back, and we for sure responded well," Bink said. "I mean, it all starts at the back end. The guys (defensemen) were setting me up, and I just made the easy passes and they finished them well. I really like setting up my teammates, getting them pretty happy, and gettint their confidence up."

One of the guys who benefited from Bink's double playmaker was Hughes, who scored two goals, giving the sophomore three goals in his last two games.

"I'm with good linemates and we work good together," Hughes said. "It's fun, because he (Bink) just sends passes and it's right on your tape, and you can jsut shoot it in."

Hughes scored the sixth and seventh Eskymo goals in the third period after Negaunee had scored twice, both by Aydan Miles, including one on a five-minute power play. Miles may have had both of Negaunee's goals, but he also took four minor penalties.

Schwalbach ended the game on the mercy rule when he completed his hat trick on a top-shelf goal five minutes into the third period.

"We were wide open on top," Schwalbach said. "We just had to find the net, and just shoot it, and set screens. We just had to get pucks deep and chase, because they had a low bench. We had to bring it."

Escanaba outshot Negaunee, 42-15, as the Eskymos improved to 3-4-0 on the season. The Miners, playing their fourth game in six nights, fell to 2-4-0 on the season.

Graham Johnson, Cale Carter, and Brett Labre also scored for Escanaba.

The Eskymos travel to Green Bay next Tuesday afternoon for a game against the Ashwaubenon Jaguars. Game time is 5:00 ET/4:00 CT. It will be broadcast live on FM-93.5, AM-600, and on-line at www.rrnsports.com from the Cornerstone Arena.

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