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Hockey was back on the ice in the form of the 43rd annual Copper Island Classic at the Calumet Colosseum. The Copper Kings were the stars as they walloped the Hancock Bulldogs, 8-1, in front of a standing room-only crowd Friday night.
The Loukus’ paced the Copper Kings throughout the night. Scott struck twice, Dean added a goal and two assists, and Brent had two goals in the victory.
“Penalties killed us,” said Hancock coach Dan Rouleau. “We don’t have the talent in our lines to match up with Calumet. So we are out there with our best guys killing penalties.”
In the first period alone, Hancock had eight penalty minutes. Four of them came courtesy of senior forward Trevor Tchida who was in the box first for cross checking and later for interference.
The Copper Kings only scored once in seven power play chances, but it was a key goal because it got Calumet on the board. Forward Scott Loukus, a junior, took advantage of the one-man down situation and poked one in from the left side of the crease 10:07 into the contest. Dean Loukus picked up one of the assists on the tally.
With less than a minute to go in the first, senior Brent Loukus took a pass from sophomore Tanner Rowe in the slot and put the puck by Hancock’s goaltender Philip Rios.
Despite surrendering eight goals, Rios made 33 saves on the night.
“I think all three of our lines played well,” said Calumet coach Dan Giachino. “We got points out of all three of them and they held their own on defense. When you have all three lines scoring that is a good thing.”
With Calumet up 3-0 in the second, Scott Loukus netted a second goal on a penalty shot. With less than three minutes left in the period the Bulldogs were called for piling on the puck in the crease. On the ensuing penalty shot, Loukus skated swiftly towards Rios and cut across the crease, lifting a backhander into the upper-right corner of the net.
Brent Loukus potted his second goal midway through the third. Forward Gabe Cappo added a pair as well scoring in the second and the third. Dean Loukus and Rylan Anderson added one each of their own in the final frame.
The Bulldogs’ lone goal came with less than three minutes left in the game. Junior Petr Anderson received the puck from Tchida on the right side of the net and chipped it past Calumet netminder Alex Studebaker.
While it was a big opening night win for the Copper Kings, they were not without their own penalty issues. They racked up 12 minutes in the box. Six of those minutes came in the second period.
“Earlier in the game, we fumbled the puck a little too much but that comes with a first game of the season,” said Giachino.
The two rivals will face each other tonight at 7 p.m. with the John Sherf Trophy on the line.
“I thought there was some good hockey being played throughout the night,” said Rouleau. “Calumet is a very good team. We have 12 ninth and tenth graders on our squad. They have 15 11th and 12th graders. That makes a difference.
“We will come out tonight knowing better whom we face.”
The last time the Copper Kings defeated the Bulldogs by seven goals was in 2011, when they won the opener, 8-1, before sweeping the series on Saturday, 4-1.
The last time the Bulldogs won a game in the Copper Island Classic by seven goals was in 2013, when they won 7-0.
Calumet 2 2 4 – 8
Hancock 0 0 1 – 1
1, CAL, Scott Loukus (Alex Mattila, Dean Loukus), PP, 10:07
2, CAL, Brent Loukus (Tanner Rowe, Dean Loukus), 16:04
3, CAL, Gabe Coppo (Rylan Anderson, Sam Erkkila), 10:57
4, CAL, Scott Loukus, PS, 14:37
5, CAL, Dean Loukus (Erkkila), 4:30
6, CAL, Anderson (Mattila, Lincoln Beiring), 4:46
7, CAL, Brent Loukus (Hunter Rowe, Josh VanDenburg), 12:37
8, HAN, Petr Anderson (Trevor Tchida), PP, 14:18
9, CAL, Coppo (Erkkila, Tanner Rowe), 16:59
CAL, Studebaker 3 8 3 – 14
HAN, Rios 10 13 10 – 33
CAL: 1/7; HAN: 1/6
CAL: 6/12; HAN: 7/14