Lepisto hat trick helps Hancock beat Calumet

HANCOCK – Two goals by Brett Lepisto in a 43-second span early in the game sparked the Hancock Bulldogs to a 5-1 Great Lakes Hockey Conference win over Calumet Thursday night at the Houghton County Arena.

Bulldogs’ coach Dan Rouleau said he was happy to see his senior forward get off to a fast start.

“With his grandpa just passing away this past weekend, it was a pretty emotional time for him,” Rouleau commented. “It was nice to see him get the first couple of goals tonight.”

Lepisto tacked on another goal in the second frame to notch his hat trick for the evening.

Despite the final score, it wasn’t an entirely bad evening for the Copper Kings, who are going through an uncharacteristic bad season.

CHS coach Jim Crawford felt his team played pretty solid hockey at times.

“We had some guys who played their best game in some time,” he said. “I wasn’t sure how we would come out after last week’s game in Kingsford.”

The Copper Kings blew a late 2-0 lead against the Flivvers in dropping a 3-2 decision in that game.

But the northend team applied steady pressure on Hancock netminder Jacob Givens.

“I thought Jacob (Givens) made some tough saves tonight,” Rouleau said. “Calumet had some good scoring opportunities in the first period … and then early in the third period.”

The Crimson and Gold had a 4-0 advantage, thanks to two power-play markers in the second period, before the Copper Kings came out flying in the final stanza on the power play.

“We probably had more scoring chances than they did,” Crawford noted. “Their power play kind of hurt us, but Givens played pretty well.”

The Hancock power play showed up in the second period, blinking the light twice.

Wade Hanke connected at the 11:08 mark, pushing the puck past Kings goalie Ian Carroll for a 3-0 reading.

Lepisto then emerged from a scrum in front of the net four minutes later and drilled a shot past Carroll to make it 4-0.

The Copper Kings got on the board at 6:33 of the final period when Eric Mattila scored on a power-play chance.

Hancock’s Larry Fallon answered back late in the period with a power play marker of his own. Hauswirth picked up his third assist of the night on the goal.

Givens recorded 27 saves on the night, while Carroll came up with 22 blocks.

Now 9-6-3 on the season and 3-2-2 in league, the Bulldogs host Negaunee Monday night.

Calumet, which fell to 2-15-1 overall (2-5 GLHC), hosts Kingsford at the Colosseum Saturday.