HOME ICE WINNER: Esky Squirts Win U.P. Title
WELLS---Nick Martinson scored a hat trick and Griffin Johnson had three points as the Escanaba Hawks U.P. Ophtalmology U10 Squirt Hockey team surprised Marquette Kiwanis, 4-1, in the District Eight championship game on Sunday.
The win sends Escanaba to the state tournament next month in Trenton.
Escanaba had lost to Marquette in the tournament opener on Friday, 5-0, but rallied to win twice on Saturday (4-2 over Tahquamenon and 11-1 over Negaunee), and then beat Copper Country, 7-2, in Sunday morning's semifinal.
Marquette went undefeated in its three pool play games, outscoring its oppenents 15-1. Then, in their semifinal Sunday morning, Marquette beat Calumet, 4-1, to advance to the championship game.
This time, however, Escanaba was up to the challenge, after dealing with illnesses in Friday's loss. After goaltender Chase Kopi made several big saves early in the game, Griffin Johnson skated up the left wing and ripped it past Marquette goaltender Kurt O'Brien with 44 seconds left in the first period to make it a 1-0 game.
BANTAM 14U FINALS AT MUNISING---The Munising/Manistique French Trucking Under-14 team won the District Eight Championship on Sunday, beating the Ironwood Polar Bears, 6-0, in Munising. The boys advance to the state tournament at Kalamazoo's Wings Stadium coming up in March. Escanaba's team lost a 2-1 heartbreaker in the semifinals Sunday morning.
MIDGET 18U FINALS AT MARQUETTE---The Marquette Togos/Main Street Pizza Under-18 team won the District Eight Championship on Sunday, beating Keweenaw Bay, 4-1, at Lakeview Arena. It was a three-team round-robin tournament, with Marquette also beating Negaunee Iron Range on Friday. The Marquette boys will be on home ice for the state tournament at Lakeview Arena in mid-March.