Flivvers offense hits overdrive
By RON DEUTER
IRON MOUNTAIN – Kingsford scored three first-period goals, outshot L’Anse 46-15 and coasted to a 7-1 Lake Superior Hockey Conference win Monday night at Mountain View Ice Arena.
Marcus Andrews and Reid Pietila each tallied two goals apiece for the Flivvers, who reached the .500 mark (9-9-0, 4-4-0) with the victory.
Andrews, Matt Willman and Pietila accounted for the first period scoring, with the three goals coming within an 80 second span.
L’Anse, struggling to get the puck out of their zone most of the game, took an advantage of a turnover in the Flivvers zone late in period one. Devin Bowers put a shot on net and it managed to squirt through.
Kingsford was kept off the scoreboard in the second period, perhaps by more of their own doing.
“I think in that second period, they were trying to get too cute with it,” Flivvers coach Jim Peterson said. “You have to be able to hit that open guy, play consistent and keep moving the puck.
“One bounce the other way and it could have been 3-2.”
Andrews made it 4-1 during the first minute of the third period, with Ted Pietila collecting his second assist of the game on the play. Reid Pietila followed a few minute later with nice flip of a rebound over the top of stretched out L’Anse keeper Jason Rank.
Ted Pietila found the back of the net at 7:59, and Sean Ryan got on the board with a power-play tally at 9:52.
Ryan, Tony Ward, Nick Brule, Adam Szabo, Alex Wiitanen, Justin Anderson and Reid Pietila (2), all collected helpers in the win.
Goalie Conor Berndt stopped 14 shots in the win.
L’Anse slipped to 5-14-1 with the loss.
“I thought our kids skated hard,” L’Anse coach Darrin Voskuhl said. “We gave up three quick goals, and that kind of set the tone.
“Kingsford is a big, strong, physical team, and we played a little timid tonight. That was a big part of it.”
Kingsford hosts Escanaba tonight in a make-up game from Jan. 22. The Eskymos, who Kingsford has yet to see this season, are coming off a sweep of the downstate public high school hockey showcase that the Flivvers also took part in over the weekend.
Escanaba is 17-3 this season.
“We’re going to see speed,” Peterson said. “They’ve got strong defense, a couple of speedsters up front. We’re going to have to try to get that puck in behind their defensemen and try to pressure them.
“We’ll need to play as a team, that’s for sure.”
Tonight’s game is the final home game of the regular season, as Kingsford finishes with three on the road.
L’Anse1 0 0 – 1
Kingsford3 0 4 – 7
K – Marcus Andrews (Sean Ryan), PP, 5:29.
K – Matt Willman (Tony Ward, Nick Brule), 6:41.
K – Reid Pietila (Ted Pietila), 6:50.
L – Devin Bowers (unassisted), 16:38.
K – Andrews (T. Pietila), 0:45.
K – R. Pietila (Adam Szabo, Alex Wiitanen), 5:06.
K – T. Pietila (R. Pietila), 7:59.
K – Ryan (Justin Anderson, R. Pietila), PP, 9:52.