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Monday February 26, 2024
Eskymos Break Losing Skid With Win In Kingsford

Click the thumbnails to see photos and videos, and to hear post-game comments from Graham Johnson, Owen LaBonte, and Brett Labre. Also click the AUDIO buttons to hear Hunter Allen and Sam Spear player spotlight interviews.

The Escanaba High School hockey team snapped a four-game losing streak Thursday night with a 4-2 win over the Kingsford Flivvers at the Mountain View Ice Arena.

Owen LaBonte and Graham Johnson both scored two goals and Nolan Bink added a three-assist playmaker as the Eskymos swept the season series from the Flivvers.

Cully Hayes stopped 30 shots in the Escanaba net, many of them in the third period when Kingsford made a push after closing to within two goals.

The game was scoreless until Johnson scored with 1.9 seconds left in the first period, off a pass from Bink.

The Flivvers had three early power plays, two of them before the first Eskymo goal and one at the start of the second period, but could not gather much momentum.

Then the Eskymos took a 2-0 lead on an Owen LaBonte goal, off a nice pass from Keagan Braun.

Kingsford closed to within 2-1 when captain Niko Burgoon scooped up a loose puck in front of the Eskymo net on a broken play. But a penalty put the Flivvers down a man, and LaBonte cashed in with his second goal of the game just 57 seconds later, making it 3-1.

Then, two minutes after that goal, another power play for the Eskymos meant another goal, this one by Johnson from the point off an Isaiah Boyce pass. It appeared to redirect off of a Kingsford player and past goaltender Brett Burkland, who made 28 saves.

Special teams were huge in this game, with Escanaba getting two power play goals while killing off all six Kingsford power plays.

Still, the Flivvers did not give up. They kept grinding in the third period, and Gavin Moore made a nice move past the Eskymo defense and in all alone on Hayes, scoring midway through the third period.

The Flivvers would later get a power play chance with hopes of cutting the score to 4-3, but Jake Powell took a roughing penalty that essentially ended the scoring chance for the Flivvers.

Escanaba reached the halfway point of the season with the victory, improving to 5-7-0 after a four-game losing streak. Kingsford fell to 3-10-0 on the season, and the Flivvers have now lost five straight.

Escanaba is back in action next Tuesday night at home against the Manistique Emeralds.
The Emeralds beat Negaunee, 2-0, Thursday night, and now have a 5-5-0 record after a three-game win streak. The Escanaba-Manistique game will be broadcast live on FM-93.5 and AM-600, as well as www.rrnsports.com, at 7 p.m.

Escanaba 4, Kingsford 2
Sault Ste. Marie 4, Painesdale-Jeffers 3
Manistique 2, Negaunee 0

Gladstone 52, Escanaba 33

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