By Justin Marietti
WELLS - The Escanaba Eskymos decided they enjoy living on the other end of the mercy rule.
Photo by Lisa Dagenais
Sophomore Levi Wunder battles for the puck in the crease, during the second period of their game against the Negaunee Miners Tuesday. The Eskymos won 9-0.
Tuesday night, they shut out the Negaunee Miners 9-0 in two periods to rack up their third consecutive mercy victory.
"The kids have been working hard," said Eskymos coach Tim McCarthy. "And when you work hard, you get rewarded for it. The last three games, we've pretty much dominated, and that's not going to happen all the time, but the hard work is paying off."
On Dec. 7, the Eskymos were on the receiving end of the mercy rule as they were beat by Macomb-Dakota 8-0. Ever since then, they have on a roll, beating everything in their path.
Negaunee 0 0 - 0
Escanaba 2 7 - 9
E, Myrick (Wood, Lasecki)(PP) 10:53
E, Pinar (unassisted) 6:20
E, Wunder (Myrick, Vandermissen) 16:47
E, Eastin (Wood) 15:26
E, Aos (Vandermissen) 15:07
E, Wunder (Chaillier, Vandermissen) (SH) 12:37
E, Lasecki (Eastin, Chaillier) 10:50
E, Eastin (Wunder, Chaillier) 0:23
E, Eastin (Wood) 0:03
Negaunee: Moyle, 19; Riutta, 12
Escanaba: Valentine, 6
"I don't know if we've ever done this before, let alone to have three shortened games in a row,
McCarthy said. "I'm real proud of the boys and how they've handled themselves."
The Miners skated well for first half of the opening period Tuesday, although the puck spent the majority of the time in Escanaba's offensive zone.
With 12:49 remaining, the Miners were called for cross checking and Escanaba had a power play opportunity. However, Negaunee's first shot on goal came during that power play. In those two minutes, the Eskymos had taken four shots, and TJ Myrick scored on the final attempt to capitalize on the power play and put his team on the scoreboard first.
About five minutes later, freshman Calvin Pinar scored his first career goal on a slapshot right in front of the blue line, extending the lead 2-0 to head into the second period.
"In the first period we came out and they outshot us pretty well, but our guys were in the fight, and they didn't give in," said Negaunee coach Eric Hill. "After a while, our guys just kind of lost steam and got a little frustrated at the end there, and they were able to put a couple more in after that. We're just trying to get better every night."
As the second period kicked off, the Eskymos scored early and often. The first shot on goal of the period came in just eight seconds, and the first goal was five seconds later as Levi Wunder
tipped the puck into the net to score his first goal of the evening. Less than a minute later, Jake Eastin scooped one in from the right wing as he was falling over to make it 4-0. 20 seconds later, Dominic Aos scored off a pass from Jake Vandermissen, and what was once a close game had quickly turned into an onslaught.
Freshman Jack Valentine received his first career start in goal for the Eskymos and earned a shutout on only six shot attempts. Coach McCarthy allowed many of his younger players to see a lot of playing time tonight, and he said he's impressed with what he saw.
"(Jack) did a good job," he said. "He covered the puck well. I'm very, very happy with him. As far as the younger guys, they saw probably over half the minutes tonight. I'm telling the veterans to go out there and push them, make them dig into the corners, make them go for the puck, make them work harder, and it shows."
With only two minutes remaining, the Miners trailed 7-0, but not enough to keep them from seeing a third period. That was until Eastin made it 8-0 on a goal with 23 seconds remaining. However, he was not done. With just three seconds remaining in the contest, Steve Wood tipped the puck back to Eastin once more, who completed the hat trick with one final goal.
The Eskymos outshot the Miners 40-6.
Escanaba resumes Thursday as they head to Waupun, Wis.