Calumet scores three times in the second, goes on to defeat Powers, 5-2, to reach Division 3 final
Plymouth - Flint Powers entered the Division 3 semifinals with only one loss this season. After Friday’s game against Calumet, Powers has two.
The Copper Kings secured its first trip to a state final since 2011 by defeating the Chargers in decisive fashion, 5-2, at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth.
Calumet (23-6-1) will play Warren De La Salle (19-9-1) for the title on Saturday at 2 p.m.
“Getting back to the finals is huge,” Calumet coach Dan Giachino said. “We’ve had some decent teams the past couple of years, and we had a little dip in talent. But to see this program back up to where it can be is special.
“Flint Powers is an extremely good hockey team. The skill level they have is second to none. To see our kids match that was inspiring considering we’ve flown under the radar all year.”
Calumet opened the scoring after 27 seconds when sophomore Brent Loukus intercepted the puck deep in the Powers end, lifted a wrist shot into the top shelf for a 1-0 lead.
Powers (28-2) answered with 2:42 left in the first period in similar fashion. Senior Brendan Smith intercepted a pass in the slot, drifted to the right circle and fired a backhand shot to tie the game at 1-1.
The first period was as even as you could get (each team had eight shots on goal) with the only advantage going to Calumet who received a five-minute power play. The Copper Kings couldn’t cash in on the man advantage even though senior Daylan Anderson poked a rebound in the net.
The goal was waived off due to intent to blow the whistle as the officials lost sight of the puck.
The Copper Kings scored three unanswered goals to break open the game in the second with senior Rory Anderson having a hand in all three.
“We needed to get on top of a good team,” he said. “As a captain it’s my job to get us there, and my boys played their hearts out too. I just had to provide a spark and I knew they’d get the job done.”
The 5-7 senior started the period with a wrap-around, power play goal to recapture the lead, 2-1. Then, in a three minute span, the senior facilitated two goals, one to senior Ed Beiring on the short side for a 3-1 lead and another to Loukus for a 4-1 lead.
“Our second periods have been our time to shine all season. We had five goals against Big Rapids the other night, and our goal differential by period shows our second period is where we shine,” Giachino said.
“Our fore-check(ing) and speed wears teams down, and by the time we get to that second period it pays off.”
In addition to the fine play by Anderson and Loukus had big games, Calumet received outstanding play from junior goaltender Nick Voelker. Voelker was peppered with 37 shots, and had big point blank saves. Voelker knew he had to step up to secure a win.
“It was a big game, so I had to make big saves. It’s fun,” he said with a smile.
Powers broke through in the third period after a power play expired when senior Jon Thomas put in a rebound with his backhand that cut into the lead 4-2 with 6:07 remaining.
Calumet stifled a Powers comeback with 2:56 left when senior Trevor Johnson received a pass from Beiring and rifled a shot from the left circle for a 5-2 lead.