CALUMET - Calumet's three-year win streak over downstate visitors Brighton came to an end Saturday, as the Bulldogs decisively defeated the Copper Kings 4-1.
"They're fast. They're a lot quicker and fairly strong, too," Calumet coach Jim Crawford said.
The defending Division 1 state champions lost 7-3 in the Colosseum on their last two visits. There would be no such hiccup Saturday, as the Bulldogs (12-1-1) were up 2-0 halfway through the first period and generally controlling play.
"I thought we were effective with the puck control game and for the most part did what we wanted to do," Brighton coach Paul Moggach said.
Outshot 10-5 after the first, it got worse before it got better for the Copper Kings after Zach Morgan buried a loose rebound for 3-0 just 2:25 into the second and Troy Marrett bagged a goal early in the third by trailing the rush and ringing a shot in off the post for a 4-0 lead at 4:44 of the third.
On the other end of the ice, Calumet was generating some chances but finishing none of them. Crawford spoke of "five or six automatic goals" that went by the wayside.
Brighton 2 1 1 - 4
Calumet 0 0 1 - 1
First period - 1, BRT, Brian Dowd (Aaron Sturos, Zachary Morgan), 3:12; 2, BRT, Michael Yuhasz (Daniel Bosio, Troy Marrett), 8:26 (PP).
Second period - 3, BRT, Morgan (Joseph Clifford, James Gessler), 2:25.
Third period - 4, BRT, Marrett (Dowd), 4:44; 5, CAL, Lucas Lahnala 8 (Bryce Johnson, Brendan Jacques), 11:36 (PP).
Power-play opportunities - Brighton 1-for-3, Calumet 1-for-3
Penalties - Brighton 4/16; Calumet 3/6
Goalie saves - BRT, James Milletics 5 (5-x-x), Jacob Price 15 (x-7-8); CAL, Troy Pierce 24 (8-9-7).
"We had golden opportunities," he said.
Indeed, Moggach said Calumet fought his team hard.
"Regardless of their record, I thought they gave us a well-fought game and it wasn't easy," he said.
The Copper Kings got on the board through fortunate circumstances midway through the third as Lucas Lahnala's centering pass got caught in the skates of a Brighton defenseman and pushed past relief goaltender Jacob Price.
Price, a JV call-up seeing his first varsity action, stopped 15 of 16 shots in two periods. Starter James Milletics added five. Troy Pierce stopped 24 shots for Calumet (7-5).
The Copper Kings have the second of four consecutive Saturday night home games next weekend against Great Lakes Hockey Conference opponent Escanaba.
"We're getting better, but it's a slow procedure," Crawford said.