By RON DEUTER
IRON MOUNTAIN - Levi Wunder netted four goals, and Escanaba used an early second-period surge to pull away from Kingsford in a 7-2 Great Lakes Hockey Conference regular-season finale Thursday at Mountain View Ice Arena.
Ron Deuter/The Daily News Photos
Kingsford goalie Wes Paupore interferes with a centering pass from Escanaba’s Derek Chailler (10) to Blaine Borman (4) during the second period Thursday evening at Mountain View Ice Arena.
Kingdford’s Alex Wiitanen (10) tries to beat Escanaba’s Quintin McCarthy to a loose puck.
Kingsford’s Marcus Andrews (9) flips a shot past Escanaba goalie Nick LeMire and into the back of the net.
Kingsford honored its seniors during the first period intemrission Thursday. Senior goalie Wes Paupore took advantage of the moment by asking his girlfriend to prom.
"It's a lot of what we saw all year," Flivvers coach Jim Peterson said. "It's the same thing. We get bottled up in our zone and can't get it out."
By dominating possession, Escanaba was able to fire 53 shots to Kingsford's 11.
"We can't keep any pressure," Peterson said. "We don't put it behind their defensemen and forecheck them."
Marcus Andrews and Dan Willman scored for Kingsford. Andrews' tally, unassisted late in the first period, sliced a 2-0 Escanaba lead in half, but the Flivvers couldn't get any closer.
Chris LeMire, Jack Williams and Wunder each found the back of the net before the second period was barely five minutes old to stake the Eskymos (15-7-3) to a 5-1 lead.
Kingsford got one back a few minutes later with Willman's marker. Andrews and Luke Wahoviak assisted. But Wunder buried his third of the game before the period ended.
"He's got that scoring touch," Escanaba coach Matt Hughes said of Wunder. "You get it to him, he finds a way to put it in the net. He works hard. He works hard in practice. And he works hard in the offseason to shoot pucks and get better and better."
Wunder, Escanaba's leading goal scorer this season, added his fourth in the opening minute of the final period.
"We came out very hard in the second period, moving the puck quick and capitalizing on our chances," Hughes said.
Wunder had one assist to go with his goal total. Derek Chailler assisted on all but two of the Eskymos' seven goals. Calvin Pinar added two assists.
Stephen Wood had Escanaba's first goal, cashing in on a power play at 5:12 of the first frame.
Kingsford (4-19-0) goes on the road to battle Marquette, hoping to pull the upset.
"If we can do a little bit of the stuff we've been trying to do, then maybe," Peterson said.
Thursday's game marked the final home contest for Kingsford's seniors. Kyle Larson, Brien Johnson, Andrew Zander, Cody Tompkins and Wes Paupore were recognized on ice between the first and second periods.
Escanaba2 4 1 - 7
Kingsford1 1 0 - 2
E - Stephen Wood (Derek Chailler, Levi Wunder), PP, 5:12.
E - Wunder (Chailler), 8:01.
K - Marcus Andrews (unassisted), 13:10.
E - Chris LeMire (Chailler, Calvin Pinar), 1:42.
E - Jack Williams (Pinar), 4:18.
E - Wunder (Wood, Charlie Zuidema), 5:16.
K - Dan Willman (Andrews, Luke Wahoviak), 8:02.
E - Wunder (Chailler, Pinar), 13:56.
E - Wunder (Chailler), 1:03.
Goalie saves - E: Nick LeMire 3-4-2 - 9; K: Paupore 21-10-15 - 46.