Calumet is headed to the state hockey semifinals for the first time since 2011.
The Copper Kings cruised past Big Rapids 7-3 in a Division 3 quarterfinal Wednesday night at Big Bear Arena.
Calumet (22-6-1) will face No. 1-ranked Flint Powers Catholic (29-1) in the semifinals at 11 a.m. Friday in Plymouth.
The Copper Kings scored five goals in the second period to break the game open against Big Rapids.
“They tried to be physical with us, but we have a ton of speed through our lineup and they were constantly chasing us,” Calumet coach Dan Giachino said. “We were one step ahead of them, and I think trying to keep up with our speed wore them down. Usually the second period is where we separate from other teams, and we did it again tonight.
“We went through a little bit of a dip in our program, but we are back. We’re excited about playing in the semifinals. We’re in the Final Four now and anything can happen.”
Rory Anderson rang up three goals and three assists, and Trevor Johnson had two goals and an assist to lead the Copper Kings, who outshot the Cardinals 36-16.
The Copper Kings led 2-1 after the first period. Anderson scored 2:17 into the game, which was played at the Big Bear’s NHL rink.
Alex Jones scored a power-play goal for the Cardinals, and Calumet defenseman Davin Lehto also had a power-play goal in the first period.
Ed Beiring scored just 44 seconds into the second period to give the Copper Kings a 3-1 lead. The Copper Kings outshot the Cardinals 22-7 and went on to score five times in the period, including two power-play goals and a four-on-four goal.
“Our defensemen did a great job of keeping pucks in at the blue line,” Giachino said. “We moved the puck well, and got some power play goals that gave us a comfortable lead.”
Big Rapids goaltender Fletcher Boda finished with 29 saves. Calumet’s Nicholas Voelker made 13 saves.
Matt Hickson and River Spedowski also scored goals for Big Rapids, which finishes 18-9-2.
“We hung with them for the first period, but they got us in the second period,” Big Rapid coach Tim Blashill said. “We took some penalties, and against a team with that much speed and skill, it’s tough to stop them and they are going to make you pay. Give all the credit to Calumet. They are very good, maybe the favorite to win it all, and good luck to them the rest of the way.
“I was proud of the way our kids kept playing. We fought back in the third period and I thought that showed the character of our kids. This is the most wins I’ve had in my 13 years of coaching. We had a tremendous year and accomplished a lot.”
Big Rapids 1 1 1 – 3
Calumet 2 5 0 – 7
1, CHS, Rory Anderson (Ed Beiring, Brent Loukus), 2:17
2, BR, Alex Jones (Drew Wotta, Garrett Daum), PPG, 9:32
3, CHS, Davin Lehto (Samuel Erkkila, Daylen Anderson), PPG, 12:37
4, CHS, Beiring (Anderson), :44
5, CHS, Trevor Johnson (Jack Sturos, Anderson), PPG, 3:45
6, CHS, Johnson (Anderson, Loukus), 7:09
7, CHS, Anderson (VanDenburg), 8:39
8, BR, River Spedowski (Connor McAdams), 11:15
8, CHS, Anderson (Trevor Johnson, Beiring), PPG, 15:30
3, BR, Matt Hickson (Shane Hogan, McAdams), 4:57
BR, Bolda 9 17 3 – 29
CHS, Voelker 3 6 4 – 13
BR: 5/21; CHS: 6/12
BR: 1/4; CHS: 3/4