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While it was a only game for third place in the 44th annual John MacInnes Holiday Classic, the Calumet Copper Kings certainly did not play like they were playing for just a consolation. They came to win, and they did heartily as they downed the Hancock Bulldogs 8-0 in less than three full periods Friday evening.
“We played with a little more intensity and a little more passion than we did last night,” said Copper Kings coach Dan Giachino.
The Copper Kings lost to the Houghton Gremlins on Thursday, 4-2, while the Bulldogs lost 6-2 to the Howell Highlanders.
Calumet dominated all three periods. Their play was crisp as was their passing. They skated harder and had a plan as they moved the puck around the Bulldogs and time and time again peppered Hancock goalie Phillip Rios, who made 29 saves in the loss.
Their first goal came with less than a minute left in the first period as Rylan Anderson scooted into the crease and backhanded one past Rios.
The Copper Kings kept their offense rolling into the second as Brent Loukus scored the first of his four goals on the night when he took a pass from defenseman Josh VanDenburg in the slot and lifted it to the back of the net just 25 seconds in.
His second one came as the Copper Kings were shorthanded. He wrangled the puck away from a Hancock defenseman and carried the puck down the ice and put a quick move on Rios in the crease and found the back of the net. He would get one more in the second at 10:28 as he whipped a slap shot that sailed into the upper-left corner of the goal. Vandenburg got the assist on that one as well.
“(Brent) Loukus played very well tonight, I was very pleased as he worked hard,” said Giachino.
Vandenberg would get a goal of his own at 2:53 in the second as he knocked in a loose puck in front of the net. Gabe Coppo added the Copper Kings’ sixth goal of the night at 11:22 in the second as he took a pass in the crease from forward Nolan Jenich. After two the the Copper Kings led 6-0.
“They are an older and experienced team,” said Hancock coach Dan Rouleau. “We were caught standing around and watching the Calumet guys skate around us. However, I do credit our guys for not quitting as we headed into the third.”
The first few minutes of the third were the Bulldogs best, as they we able to put some pressure on Calumet’s defense and put a couple of shots on goalie Alex Studebaker. Studebaker made 11 saves in the win.
But their efforts did not translate into goals and instead, Loukus potted his fourth with a slap shot from the far right side of the slot at 11:04. Less than two minutes later, Anderson put in his second of the game, icing the game as he skated in on the crease and poked on into the back of the net at 12:35.
“We had been playing a good stretch of hockey there for a while and we’ve hit a rough patch, said Rouleau. “We’ve got work to do.”
Hancock 0 0 0 – 0
Calumet 1 5 2 – 8
1, CLK, Rylan Anderson, 16:23
2, CLK, Brent Loukus (Josh VanDenberg, Dean Loukus), :25
3, CLK, Vandenberg, 2:53
4, CLK, Brent Loukus (Dean Loukus), SH, 5:25
5, CLK, Brent Loukus (VanDenberg, Scott Loukus), 10:28
6, CLK, Gabe Coppo (Nolan Jenich, Lincoln Beiring), 11.22
7, CLK, Brent Loukus (Coppo), 11:01
8, CLK, Anderson (Tanner Rowe, Brent Loukus), 12:35
CLK, Studebaker 3 2 6 – 11
HCH, Rios 11 12 6 – 29
CLK: 1/5; HCH: 0/3
CLK: 3/6; HCH: 5/10