Hancock’s holiday: Bulldogs push CIC rout to historic levels

CALUMET – When the dust settled on the most lopsided of Hancock’s 14 wins in the history of the Copper Island Classic, coach Dan Rouleau was asked what he liked most from the two-game total-goal series, the 13 goals for or the zero goals against?

“Absolutely positively the zero against, there’s no question about it … To come up to Calumet, with the hockey tradition they have, to play two games and not hear that (goal) siren was amazing,” Rouleau said.

Saturday’s second round proved to be just as one-sided as the first, as Tanner Kearly’s hat trick and William Lucier’s second straight shutout were more than enough to spur the Bulldogs to a 7-0 Great Lakes Hockey Conference win.

“It feels pretty good, coming up here sophomore year, junior year, even freshman year and never coming away with a win. To get two, pretty convincingly, is pretty tremendous,” Kearly said.

For the first time in the 38-year history of the series, a goaltender went perfect for the weekend.

“I was just trying to be doing what I was supposed to be doing, what coach wanted me to do, stop pucks, and I was able to do it,” Lucier said.

A blast of five goals in a 10 1/2-minute span ensured this was over competitively by the first intermission.

The Bulldogs put more shots on goal in the first period (26) than the Copper Kings did for the game (23).

“Just like the night before. We only got two the night before in the first period but it was the same thing: hard on the forecheck, just getting on their ‘D’ real quick and making them cough it up. We’ve got a little bit of speed on our team and we took advantage of that,” Rouleau said.

Larry Fallon had the first, at 2:44, followed by a pair from Kearly at 8:47 and 11:12. Hunter Kero made it 4-0 39 seconds afterward, followed by Wade Hanke at 13:13.

The outburst prompted early retrieval of the John A. Sherf Trophy, but Calumet leveled things off in the second, playing some of its best hockey of the weekend, including a 7-6 advantage in shots on goal over the middle 17 minutes.

That ended when Kearly finished his hat trick 37 seconds into the third period. It was the second such night of the third-line forward’s prep career, the other coming against Jeffers in the regional tournament last year.

“There’s just nights I guess, where I find garbage goals and put them in the back of the net,” he said.

It wasn’t just Kearly having a good night. Linemates Fallon and Hayden Heikkinen also had multiple points.

“We don’t look for that line to score as much, when they do it’s a bonus, and they had a great offensive weekend. If that can continue down the line it’s gonna be a big boost for us,” Rouleau said.

Kyle Hauswirth tacked on an unassisted tally midway through the third.

“For the most part, we were good in front of ‘Loosh,’ but when we weren’t, he bailed us out with some beautiful saves,” Rouleau said.

Ian Carroll stopped 42 shots for the Copper Kings (0-2, 0-1 GLHC), who after a rough weekend, face a significantly less enviable task: two home games with defending Division 3 champ Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood next weekend.

“Hancock played well and they have a nice hockey team, you’ve got to give them credit. They completely outskated us, beat us to pucks everywhere. You’ve got to give them the credit, they’re a nice team,” Calumet coach Jim Crawford said.

Hancock (2-0-1, 1-0-1 GLHC) will take part in the Rick Miller Memorial weekend with a pair of home games, against Traverse City Central Friday night and Traverse City West Saturday afternoon. Improving upon consecutive sluggish second periods will be a point of emphasis.

“Against top-level teams, we can’t take periods off, can’t take shifts off, can’t take anything off. We have to go full-tilt all the time,” Kearly said.