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Home cookin’

Kingsford hockey team set for home opener versus Houghton

Kingsford junior hockey player Gavin Moore skates against Escanaba on Nov. 21. Moore had five goals over the weekend, including a hat trick against Saginaw Heritage on Saturday. (Ron Deuter photo)

IRON MOUNTAIN — The Kingsford varsity hockey team, off to a 1-2 start to the season, hosts Houghton for its home opener tonight at Mountain View Ice Arena.

The puck drops at 6 p.m.

After falling in their season opener at Escanaba last week, the Flivvers split a pair of contests in Alpena over the weekend, dropping Bay City 5-2 on Friday before losing to Saginaw Heritage 7-3 Saturday. Both games were played at Alpena’s Northern Lights Arena.

“It was a great team effort against Bay City,” Flivvers head coach Greg Wadge said. “We moved the puck well and executed our systems much better. All three periods were really good. Bergy had a great game between the pipes.”

Senior Brett Berglund, making his first start of the season, stopped 25 shots in the victory. The Flivvers jumped all over Bay City from the start, scoring twice in the game’s first three minutes and taking a 3-0 lead into the first break.

Junior Jack Supanich had the first goal just ten seconds into the game, with assists from sophomores Jake Deuter and Will Murvich.

Freshman Jonah Doenier added the second tally at 14:45, with a helper from freshman Jack Spreen. Spreen scored the third goal, shorthanded with 2:29 to play in the first.

Junior Gavin Moore had Kingsford’s final two goals, scoring at 4:10 of the second and adding an empty netter with 2:06 left in the game, as Bay City pulled its goalie early in an attempt to slice into what was a two-goal deficit. Senior captain Niko Burgoon and junior Jake Crockford each tallied assists on those goals.

Moore continued to lead the Flivvers offense on Saturday, recording a hat trick with all three of the Flivvers tallies in the loss to Saginaw Heritage. All Moore’s goals were unassisted.

The first period ended in a 2-2 tie before Saginaw busted the game open with four goals in the second. Sophomore netminder Nate Scullon stopped 24 of the 30 shots he saw, before giving way to Berglund, who turned away three of the four shots he saw. The Flivvers were held to just 21 shots in the game.

“The first and third periods we OK,” Wadge noted. “I thought our forecheck was off from the day before. The second period was not good, giving up four goals. We struggled through the neutral zone and gave them way too much time and space.”

The Flivvers had no answer for Hawks senior Alec Mellon, who scored his team’s first three goals and added a fourth late in the second period.

Powerhouse Houghton, ranked No. 1 in the state for Division 3, enters tonight’s contest at 3-0-0 on the season. The Gremlins clobbered Escanaba 11-1 in two periods to open the campaign before defeating Hartland 4-2 and Marquette 2-0. Tonight’s game is the first road contest for the Gremlins, who advanced to the state semifinals last season.

Kingsford faced the Gremlins once last season, up in Houghton. That game was knotted 1-1 through two periods before Houghton pulled away in the third for a 6-2 victory.

Kingsford returns to the road after tonight’s game, heading to Sault Ste. Marie for a pair of weekend games against Sault Ste. Marie and Cheboygan. The Flivvers are back at Mountain View on Tuesday, Dec. 5, hosting Jeffers.

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