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Monday July 22, 2024
COPPER COUNTRY BLUES: Eskymos Lose Again

Click the thumbnails to see videos taken by Lizzie Taylor, photos taken by Cooper LaMarch, and to hear post-game comments from Escanaba Coach Andy Johnson, defenseman Ben Sands, and Calumet's Ben Anderson and Brendan Broberg.

 

Also click the AUDIO buttons to hear Cadson Hughes and Keagan Braun player spotlight interviews.

 

ESCANABA---The Escanaba High School hockey team came up short for the fourth straight time to a team from the Copper Country Friday night, losing to the Calumet Copper Kings, 4-3, at the Wells Sports Complex. Brendan Broberg had a goal and two assists as Calumet won its first game of the season after an 0-6-1 start.

 

“It feels good to finally get the first win,” Broberg said. “I think our line played pretty good. We got two goals, and two people on the line, we all got an assist. I feel like our line did good. I just crashed the net, and got the rebound. It feels great to break the drought. We've been close, so it feels good to finally get it.”

 

One of his linemates, Ben Anderson, scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal with 34 seconds left in the second period to give Calumet a 4-2 lead.

Cale Carter scored a late third period goal for the Eskymos, but they could not tie the game with the goaltender pulled and an extra attacker on the ice.

 

“Matt Frantti passed it up to me and I brought it into the zone,” Anderson said. “I saw a lane through the middle, so I brought it in. I just shot it on next because I was getting hooked. And it went in. I thought there would be more people on me.”

 

Escanaba defenseman Ben Sands was disappointed after the game, in particular, because of key defensive zone breakdowns that led to 38 shots being fired at Eskymo goaltender Cully Hayes.

 

“I just think that they beat us in the first period when they put up those goals on us (two goals, 2-2 tie after the first period),” Sands said. “I think we played well in the second and third, we just couldn't put any away. Man, we've just got to practice. We've got to skate a lot more and get into condition. We've got to work on our breakouts, and on our D zone, because once we get in that offensive zone, we're pretty deadly.”

 

Escanaba took a 1-0 lead on an early power play goal by Alex Schwalbach, but the Eskymos gave up two goals less than two minutes apart by Boberg and Erik Loukus. Escanaba's Graham Johnson tied the game in the final minute of the first period, but the Copper Kings scored two more goals late in the second period.

 

The first, by Luca Matous, came just as a power play ended and the Eskymos were scrambling to get back to full strength. The second, the backbreaker, came with 34 seconds left in the period as Anderson was able to skate between the circles and throw one on net.

 

“I wasn't pleased with our first period,” Escanaba Coach Andy Johnson said. “Our effort on the backcheck wasn't there, which gave them too many odd-man rushes on us. They scored a couple in the first that I felt if we just had some effort, we would have taken care of those.”

 

Escanaba has now lost to all four Copper Country teams (Houghton, Hancock, Calumet, and Painesdale-Jeffers) and fell to 4-6-0 on the season heading into next week's showcase tournament in Alpena.

 

Hayes stopped 34 of 38 shots for the Eskymos, while Copper Kings goalie Hunter Tuoriniemi made 30 saves, some of them in key moments.

 

“We had great (forechecking) pressure, and we had great backchacking when we needed it,” Anderson said. “It's just one sigh of relief, it feels soooo good. Everybody's happy down in the locker room, everybody's buzzing.”

The Eskymos will host their annual Almuni Games on Saturday afternoon, with the “Old-Timers” lacing up the skates at 3:00, and the more recent graduates set to play at 4:30.

 

“We've got 20-plus guys, plus two goalies, coming out for that (old timers game).” Johnson said. “Then we have the Young Bucks going out, and we have 30-plus players and a couple of different goalies for that. So, it should be a fun afternoon.”

 

After the two games are over, there will be a get-together at the Escanaba Elks Club. Everyone is welcome to come to the rink for the games on Saturday, and there is no admission charge.

 

As for the current Eskymos, they'll try to get back on track with a couple of games at the Alpena Christmas Showcase next Wednesday and Thursday. The Eskymos will play the Capital City Capitals Wednesday at 3:40, and then take on St. Edwards (Ohio) Thursday at 1:40.

Both games will be broadcast back to the Upper Peninsula on FM-93.5, AM-600, and on-line at www.rrnsports.com.
 









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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
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
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
ROUGH NIGHT: Eskymos Lose To Jeffers In L'Anse
Saturday December 2, 2023
Escanaba Cruises Past Kingsford For Home Ice Win
Wednesday November 22, 2023