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Eskymos beat Painsdale

WELLS — Shorthanded goals don’t happen in every hockey game.

The Escanaba Eskymos, however, hit three in the second period as they celebrated Senior Night with a 9-4 victory over Painesdale Jeffers here Friday. The Jets got one in the third.

Senior forward Brayden Martineau got a shorty on a breakaway seven minutes, seven seconds into the second, giving the Eskymos a 2-1 lead.

Martineau and senior forward Sawyer LaMarche added shorthanded markers 17 seconds apart late in the second frame for a 4-1 cushion.

All this took place three nights after the Eskymos fell to Marquette 11-3 at the Hannahville Ice & Turf Complex.

“After the Marquette loss, our seniors led the team in practice and were our leaders in tonight’s game,” said Esky coach Andy Johnson. “We moved some guys around in our top two lines and it worked out well.”

The Eskymos (2-2) moved senior forward Trevor Streichert into the second line with sophomore forward Cale Carter and freshman forward Graham Johnson and inserted freshman forward Nolan Bink with LaMarche and Martineau in the top line.

“Nolan helped them with his speed and quickness and Trevor provided some speed (in the second line),” said coach Johnson.

Esky again struck twice early in the third as Graham Johnson scored a pair of goals within six seconds for a 6-1 cushion.

Carter then gave Esky a 7-1 advantage on a breakaway at 3:34.

Sophomore forward Benton Rajala went top shelf on a shorthanded tally to bring the Jets within 7-2 at 3:34 before Carter scored from the doorstep to put the Eskymos up 8-2 with a second left in a power play 6:46 into the third.

Jeffers scored twice within 13 seconds with less than five minutes remaining. Junior forward Trayton Helminen converted on a rebound and senior forward Kellen Koskinen scored from the doorstep to make it 8-4.

Martineau then completed a hat trick from well beyond the right faceoff circle to conclude the scoring nearly 2 1/2 minutes later.

“Our guys will always battle to the end,” said Jets’ coach Pat Nettel. “They’ll never give up.”

This marked the third game within 72 hours for Jeffers, which edged Calumet 2-1 Tuesday night for its first victory over the Copper Kings since 1992. The Jets then dropped a 3-1 decision to Hancock Thursday night.

“We had three big games in four nights which is a lot for anyone,” said Nettel. “The back-to-back shorthanded goals late in the second period flattened us. When you’re fatigued, you’re not making the best decisions. We had too many penalties.”

LaMarch scored Esky’s first goal from point-blank range 9:10 into the contest.

Koskinen tied the score on a wrap-around at 10:27.

The Eskymos outshot the Jets 42-27 and converted on 1-of-5 power plays. Jeffers was 0-for-3.

“We worked on power plays a lot in practice,” said coach Johnson. “We have a few things to work on. Although, I thought our penalty kill unit did a pretty good job and our special teams’ play was a big part of our success tonight.”

Esky freshman goaltender Cully Hayes stopped 23 shots and Jeffers’ Mathias Anderson had 33 saves.

Esky travels to Negaunee Tuesday. Jeffers hosts Kingsford at Michigan Tech Tuesday.

Jeffers 1 0 3 — 4

Escanaba 1 3 5 — 9

Scoring plays:

First period

E — LaMarche (Bourdeau), 9:10

PJ — K. Bianco (Turner, Rautiola), 10:27

Second period

E — Martineau (unassisted) shorthanded, 7:07

E — Martineau (LaMarch) shorthanded, 15:32

E — LaMarch (Labre) shorthanded, 15:49

Third period

E — Johnson (Bourdeau), 2:02

E — Johnson (unassisted), 2:08

E — Carter (unassisted), 3:34

PJ — Rajala (Turner) shorthanded, 6:46

E — Carter (Nelson, Boyce), 8:45

PJ — Helminen (Halonen, Collins), 11:01

PJ — Koskinen (Holombo), 11:14

E — Martineau (Boyce), 13:37).

Shots on goal: Escanaba 42, Jeffers 27

Goaltender saves: Escanaba (Hayes 23), Jeffers (Anderson 33).

Power plays: Escanaba 1-5, Jeffers 0-3.

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