CALUMET - Eric Mattila's hat trick made sure the status quo remained in Calumet's favor Saturday, as the Copper Kings defeated Hancock 5-2 and won the 37th Annual Copper Island Classic.
Calumet, which won the total-goals series 8-4, took home the John A. Sherf Trophy for the fourth consecutive season.
"Last night we were trying to play fancy, but tonight we told the team to just shoot, crash the net and good things would happen," Mattila said.
Hancock’s Dylan Hanke and Calumet’s Bradley Erkkila collide in front of the net during the second period of Saturday’s second game of the Copper Island Classic at the Calumet Colosseum.?Calumet goalie Brian Rogers tries to keep the puck out. Calumet won the game 5-2 and the annual total-goal series. (DMG photo by Brandon Veale)
Calumet captains, from left, Lucas Lahnala, Brendan Jacques and Bryce Johnson pose with the John A. Sherf Trophy after Saturday’s game. (DMG photo by Brandon Veale)
Indeed, two of Mattila's three goals came from cleaning up rebounds in front, with the third after teammate Evan Billeck appeared to pass to him from a prone position for the junior forward to bury from in close. The hat trick, the first of his prep career, puts him halfway to equaling his goal total of six from last season in just one weekend.
Mattila's first two goals came at 9:26 and 12:59 of the second period, not long after Hancock coach Dan Rouleau said he discussed cleaning up the slot in the first intermission.
"They got two, three chances on our goalie. We just talked about it and they didn't execute it," Rouleau said.
Calumet 2 2 1 - 5
Hancock 1 1 0 - 2
First period - 1, CAL, Braden Anderson 1 (Reilly Schreiber), 2:57; 2, HAN, Jack Fenton, no time available; 3, CAL, Maxx Fredrickson 2 (Brendan Jacques, Robert Erkkila), 16:21.
Second period - 4, CAL, Eric Mattila 1 (Lucas Lahnala), 9:26; 5, CAL, Mattila 2 (Lahnala, Evan Billeck), 12:59; 6, HAN, Kyle Hauswirth 1 (Brett Lepisto, Dylan Hanke), 15:22 (PP).
Third period - 7, CAL, Mattila 3 (Billeck, Lahnala), 3:20.
Power-play opportunities - Calumet, 0-for-4, Hancock, 1-for-2.
Penalties - Calumet 2/4, Hancock 4/8
Goalie saves - CAL, Brian Rogers 34 (13-10-11); HAn, William Lucier 30 (6-13-11).
It may have been that control of the danger areas that tipped what was otherwise a second fairly balanced game territorially (Hancock outshot Calumet 36-35).
"I actually thought Hancock kinda got the shaft tonight," Calumet coach Jim Crawford said. "We were getting the breaks, no question, and they deserved a better fate than to lose 5-2."
Another difference for Calumet was goaltender Brian Rogers. He entered the weekend No. 2 on the depth chart but may have been the No. 2 star of the night for the Copper Kings, making 34 saves.
"That's a lot of pressure for a kid, but he played well, that's for sure," Crawford said.
Calumet struck first just 2:57 in as Reilly Schreiber hit Braden Anderson in close with a pass from behind the net, but Hancock responded later in the period after Jack Fenton tipped in a one-time pass on the rush to tie it up.
However, before Calumet and Hancock could play their third 1-1 period out of four, Maxx Fredrickson scored his second goal of the weekend, putting the Kings up 2-1 after his shot from high above the left faceoff circle got through.
Mattila doubled Calumet's score in the second period, but a late second-period goal from Kyle Hauswirth kept Hancock in it, at least until Mattila finished his hat trick 3:20 into the third.
"Tonight's game, we had a ton of scoring chances we didn't take and when Calumet had scoring chances, they buried them," Rouleau said.
The Bulldogs, who got 30 saves from William Lucier, will have a while to think about this one, as they're idle until hosting Traverse City Central and Traverse City West Dec. 7-8 in the Rick Miller Memorial.
Calumet hits a long road down to suburban Detroit to play Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood for the annual series between the two next weekend.
"We learned that getting shots on net and getting rebounds, good things will happen. We've just got to show up next week and play hard," Mattila said.