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Calumet’s speed and firepower took effect early in decimating Gaylord 11-1 in a mercy-rule Division 3 state quarterfinal win Saturday.
The Copper Kings (22-5-1) play Detroit Country Day (23-3) in the state semifinals at 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 13 in Plymouth.
It’s Calumet’s first time back at Plymouth since falling to Warren De La Salle 6-3 in the 2017 final.
Detroit Country Day beat Grosse Point Woods 7-2 in the other quarterfinal matchup. Midland Dow (22-6) faces Riverview Gabriel Richard (20-8) in the other state semifinal.
Calumet senior Alex Mattila scored two goals and two assists. Senior forward Scott Loukus had two goals and an assist. Junior forward Seth Coppo and Jackson Rilei each had a goal and two assists. Junior forward Tanner Rowe had two goals and senior defenseman Lincoln Beiring had two assists.
“We watched a lot of film on this the last couple days. We knew were going to see some things we haven’t seen before in terms of how they play the game and how defensive they are. You had to watch some film and get an idea of where the weak spots were and how to avoid that. Fortunately we did right off the bat 15 seconds into the game. I thought we handled it well in the first period. Got them to the point that they were taken out of their game.”
The Blue Devils (14-13) employed their neutral zone trap they’ve hung their hat on all season. But the Copper Kings’ speed blew the hat right off as they weaved through the trap and deep into the offensive zone, where they took advantage of passing lanes and backdoor opportunities.
“That was a quality team that’s probably the best team we’ve faced this year,” Gaylord head coach Jamie Voss said. “A comparable, maybe TC Central, as far as their speed and movement and stuff like that. They’re coached well. They support each other well.
“They just outplayed us in our end. I wasn’t disappointed at all with how we played in their end. I just would’ve liked to have seen us generate more quality scoring opportunities. We trapped the whole first period so we never really went in their zone. We did the one time, we got that goal, which was good because we crashed the net and stuff like that.”
Copper Kings sophomore forward Jackson Rilei got behind the Gaylord defensemen with an early breakaway and scored 15 seconds into the game.
Things didn’t change much after that.
Calumet overwhelmed Gaylord goaltender Austin Sitz with a 28-6 shot advantage.
Gaylord’s lone goal by Samuel Gorno made it a 2-1 game nearly six minutes into the first. The Blue Devils got a 2-on-1 break and Gorno found the back of the net past the outstretched pad of Copper Kings goaltender Alex Studebaker.
The goal was the lone blemish on Studebaker’s quiet day. He made five saves on six shots.
Calumet 4 7 — 11
Gaylord 1 0 — 1
First Period–1, CLK, Rilei (Kauppinen), 0:15. 2, CLK, Larson (Beiring, S. Coppo), 5:21. 3, GHS, Gorno (Busch), 5:50. 4, CLK, S. Loukus (Beiring, T. Rowe), 9:46, pp. 5, CLK, D. Loukus (Mattila, Erkkila), 14:15, pp. Penalties–GHS, G. Kleinsorge (interference), 9:40. GHS, N. Kleinsorge (interference), 13:11.
Second Period–6, CLK, D. Loukus (Rilei), 1:58. 7, CLK, T. Rowe (Mattila), 6:46. 8, CLK, Mattila (G. Coppo, H. Rowe), 7:06. 9, S. Coppo (Sturos, Jurmu), 11:46. 10, CLK, S. Loukus (D. Loukus, Rilei), 12:17. 11, CLK, Mattila (S. Loukus, Rilei), 13:24. 12, CLK, Larson (S. Coppo), 15:05.
Shots on Goal–CLK 13-15–28. GHS 3-3–6.
Power-play Opportunities–CLK 2 of 2. GHS 0 of 0.
Goalies–CLK, Studebaker 2-3–5 saves. GHS, Sitz 9-8–17.