Esky icers freeze Flivs
IRON MOUNTAIN — Escanaba narrowly escaped with a 5-4 win against Kingsford on Thursday.
The Eskymos (11-11) rallied for four goals in the third period to cap the win. Garth Wickham highlighted Escanaba’s effort with a hat trick, scoring all three goals in the final period.
“We found a way to grind one out. Guys got pucks to open ice,” Escanaba coach Matt Hughes said. “Garth Wickham had a hat trick. His third goal, he just out-worked the D. We chipped it up the middle and he just split the defensemen and worked very hard to get in between him, went in on the goalie, faked to his backhand and put it in the back of the net.”
The third period was without boredom as both teams combined for six goals. Escanaba had strong scoring chances in the first period that Kingsford goalie Trevor Anderson brushed away.
“It was a pretty evenly played game. They had some quality scoring chances in that first period,” Kingsford coach Jim Peterson said. “We still made a few crucial mistakes of coming up the middle and then not covering the guy high in the slot. That happens during a game.”
Escanaba out-shot Kingsford 42-32. Anderson made 37 saves while Eskymos goalie Brodie Goddard made 28.
Wickham’s last goal, the eventual game-winner, came when Kingsford won the face-off in Escanaba’s zone. The puck was tangled in the skates of a Kingsford player before it was chipped past the blue line, where Wickham streaked up the middle for a breakaway, faked Flivver goalie Trevor Anderson to the backhand and slipped the puck in the net with about five minutes remaining for a 5-3 lead.
The Flivvers (8-9-1) took a 2-1 lead in the second period when Trent Juul deflected a shot from the point by Alek Shanks on the power-play.
Escanaba tied the game 52 seconds into the third period when Wickham scored his first goal assisted by Chris LeMire.
Sawyer Perpich responded for Kingsford nearly six minutes later with a quick shot from the slot.
Christer Carne scored just 32 seconds after Perpich to tie the game 3-3 with 9:22 remaining.
Wickham gave the Eskymos their first lead since the first period on a give-and-go one-timer from LeMire.
Hughes said he liked the way his team regrouped after a soft second period in which Kingsford dictated the pace.
“We started making plays. We were more patient with the puck instead of just throwing it,” Hughes said. “We had a nice backdoor play, Paul Carne to Christer Carne. Chris LeMire made a nice pass to Wickham for another one of those goals. It was good to see us making plays instead of just throwing pucks.”
Kingsford took a timeout with about two minutes remaining in the game. The Flivvers didn’t pull Anderson, who came out of his net a couple times, for an extra attacker. Despite getting the puck deep in Escanaba’s zone, the Eskymos were able to gain possession of the puck and clear the zone, keeping Anderson from leaving the ice.
Hughes said the Eskymos rebounded well in the third period after Kingsford took a lead in the second.
“It was good to see the boys come together in the third period,” he said. “I thought our second period wasn’t our best period of hockey, but we came together as a team and they started attacking them full speed and getting pucks down low and we were able to capitalize on a few opportunities.”