By RON DEUTER
IRON MOUNTAIN - This was a loss that will linger.
Theresa Peterson/The Daily News Photo
Kingsford’s Luke Wahoviak (14) tries to keep the puck from Calumet’s Bradly Sackson-Hodges (19) and Braden Anderson (15) during the first period of Thursday’s Great Lakes Hockey Conference contest. Also in on the play is Kingsford’s Alex Wiitanen.
Kingsford lost a lead, the game and two starters in a 4-2 setback to Calumet Thursday evening in Great Lakes Hockey Conference action at Mountain View Ice Arena.
Dominating the hockey game and holding a 2-1 lead entering the final period, Kingsford yielded two Calumet goals in the first minute and 18 seconds of the final frame, and it proved enough for Copper Kings to escape with the victory.
"We did everything right during the game, we did," Flivvers head coach Jim Peterson said. "We forechecked hard, we left everything out there, we outshot them."
"It was the breaks, a couple breaks that they got. It's a shame because the kids played a great game, and they know it."
Lucas Lahnala, winding up with a hat trick for the Copper Kings, delivered the go-ahead tally just a over a minute into the third stanza.
The goal came on the heels of the equalizer which was scored by Bryce Johnson with help from Lahnala and Eric Mattila on a power play after Kingsford's Ted Pietila - spotted retaliating for having his stick held - was sent to the box for roughing 45 seconds into the period.
"Kingsford played a heck of a game," Calumet coach Jim Crawford said. "They were beating us to every puck. They outplayed us. Our goaltender actually kept us in there. We just got lucky and played a good third period."
While the Flivvers paid the price on the scoreboard for the Pietila penalty immediately, it was two other calls against the Flivvers that will leave the team shorthanded for the next two games.
Nick Brule received a 5:00 major and game disqualification in the first period. And Marcus Andrews, as the Flivvers were about to gain a power play late in the third, was hauled off for a hard check in the corner. He too received a 5:00 major and game disqualification.
The Flivvers responded well to the Brule penalty, not allowing Calumet a shot on goal during the extended power play. But Andrews penalty left the Flivvers with that much less time to mount a comeback.
The Flivvers did go on the power play with less than four minutes to play, but Calumet ended the threat with a shorthanded rush and Lahnala flinging in a rebound for his third goal.
"We went with two lines (in third period), and that seemed to work this game," Crawford said. "Pietila was playing so much, I think he maybe got tired. We played much better in the third."
Lahnala's first goal spotted the visitors to a 1-0 lead at 10:29 of the second period. He slipped ahead of the Flivver defense and finished up high past Wes Paupore.
But Kingsford responded quickly, as Andrews planted himself in front of the Copper Kings defense, took a pass from Pietila and wristed a shot to the top right corner of the net at 12:39.
A few minutes later it was Pietila, driving in from the left side and sweeping one through traffic and by Calumet netminder Brian Rogers.
Rogers, however, came up big in keeping the game close through two periods. The Flivvers fired 28 shots to Calumet's 15 in the first two frames.
"They did play good," Crawford said. "They frustrated us. Our goalie made some big saves for us."
Paupore finished with 25 saves for the Flivvers.
"It was our game to win," Peterson said. "We battled. You can't hang your heads on this game. We have a lot more games, and we know what we can do, what we are capable of. This is tough one to take, but we just have to go on from here."
Kingsford (2-3-0, 1-1-0 GLHC) hosts DePere Dec. 22.
Calumet 0 1 3 - 4
Kingsford 0 2 0 - 2
C - Lucas Lahnala (James Sturos), 10:29.
K - Marcus Andrews (Ted Pietila, Wes Paupore), 12:39.
K - Pietila (Reid Pietila), 14:41.
C - Bryce Johnson (Lahnala, Eric Mattila), PP, 0:55.
C - Lahnala (Maxx Fredickson), 1:18.
C - Lahnala (Mattila), SH, 14:54.
Goalie saves - C: Brian Rodgers 10-16-6 - 32; K: Wes Paupore 3-12-10 - 25.