Shorties help Flivvers rally past Jeffers, 4-3

Shorties help Flivvers rally past Jeffers, 4-3

HOUGHTON — Hockey, especially at the high school level, is a three-period affair. For most teams to be successful night in and night out, they have to play a 51-minute game. The Jeffers Jets were taught that lesson Thursday night in a 4-3 loss to the Kingsford Flivvers at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

After a tough 5-1 loss to the Hancock Bulldogs on Tuesday, the Jets knew they needed to get off to a quick start on Senior Night and they did. They scored just 1:04 in and then again before the first period ended. Through 34 minutes they held a 3-2 lead.

Then, disaster struck twice in :59 seconds as the Flivvers, who already had a shorthanded tally to their credit, potted two more on the same penalty kill in the third period to even and eventually steal, the game.

After seeing his team get just five shots on goal in the first period, Flivvers head coach Greg Wadge was extremely pleased with the way his team fought back over the remainder of the contest.

“We came out flat,” said Wadge. “We talked about it before the game that quick starts for us are important. We haven’t traveled well as a team this whole year. Tonight was no exception. We got a little better as the game went on, but (that was) definitely a flat first period for us.”

Trey Bociek scored two of the three shorthanded markers, with the second one, scored :49 seconds into the third, being key to sparking the Flivvers (11-10-0 overall) to finish strong.

“I think he went top shelf on his backhand,” Wadge said, “and I know the bench went crazy. That was, for sure, a big momentum shift for us.”

Ethan Fox then scored a shorthanded goal of his own just 59 seconds later when he buried a wrister, ending Jets goaltender Noah Nettell’s night early.

“We totally had him on the run,” said Jets coach Patrick Nettell. “It was great. We come out in the third period and we get our (butts) handed right to us.

Three shorthanded goals, that’s embarrassing.

“Well done by them to totally execute on our mistakes. We were passing the puck with our head down.”

Junior forward Luke Marcotte got the Jets on the board first when he drove around the back of the Flivvers’ net, skated out into the left circle and then beat goaltender Evan Hedtke over the right shoulder with a wrist shot.

The Jets (7-14-0 overall) struck again in the final minute of the opening frame when senior winger Nolan Asiala found space in front of the Flivvers’ net. Captain Matthew Halonen, who had received a pass from freshman defender Kyle Heltunen, fed the puck out into Asiala’s wheelhouse, and the winger buried a one-timer for the tally.

“We’ve got the good early jump, which everybody wants,” Patrick Nettell said, “and then it just disappeared.”

In the second, Noah Nettell was called upon to make three saves in the first five minutes of the period before the Jets were awarded a power play. During the advantage, the Jets did pick up their third goal of the night, but not before Bociek stole a pass back to the point, skated the puck between the two Jets’ defenders and buried a wrist shot at 6:39.

In the closing seconds of the man advantage, the Jets responded as assistant captain Jackson Rocchi crashed the net. Jumping on a rebound off a shot from sophomore defenseman Brent Heinonen, Rocchi drove the rebound past Hedtke at 7:48.

The goal was the type of response the Jets needed at the time.

The Jets held their two-goal advantage until the latter stages of the middle frame when David Juul batted a rebound past Nettell at 13:33. Tyler Bengsten took the initial shot on that play that led to the goal.

Kingsford 0 2 2 – 4

Jeffers 2 1 0 – 3

First period

1, JHS. Luke Marcotte, 1:04

2, JHS, Nolan Asiala (Matthew Halonen, Kyle Heltunen), 16:16

Second period

3, KHS, Trey Bociek, SH, 6:39

4, JHS, Jackson Rocchi (Brent Heinonen, Marcotte), PP, 7:48

5, KHS, David Juul (Tyler Bengsten), 13:27

Third period

6, KHS, Bociek (Kurt Adiao Ryan), SH, :49

7, KHS, Ethan Fox, SH, 1:48

Saves: Hedtke, KHS 15 13 6 – 34; Nettell, JHS 5 8 0 – 13; Rajala, JHS 0 0 7 – 7

Power plays

KHS: 0/2; JHS: 1/4


KHS: 4/8; JHS: 2/4