HISTORY MADE! Emeralds Win First Home Game

Click the thumbnails to see photos and videos, and hear interviews with Manistique's Kobie Petrich, Newberry's Johnny Nutkins, and Coach John Nutkins.

The Manistique High School hockey team made history Thursday night the moment the boys stepped onto the ice at the Little Bear West Arena against the Kingsford Flivvers. They hosted their first-ever varsity hockey game, and there was a large crowd filled with youth hockey players and othe supporters jammed into the stands to watch teh action.

Then the Emeralds went out and made even more history, beating another varsity hockey team for the first time, downing the Flivvers, 7-3, on the strength of four power play goals.

Dakota Maki, a Superior Central High School student playing with the Emeralds on the multi-school co-op, scored four goals and added two assists. Matthew Rahilly, a freshman defenseman from Newberry High School contributed four assists.

It was Manistique's second win of the season, with the first being a 2-0 win over the Hancock junior varsity team in Houghton. The Emeralds also skated to a 1-1 tie with Painesdale-Jeffers, and lost atough 1-0 game to Kingsford in Iron Mountain. Manistique's 4-2 win over Negaunee in November was later deemed a pre-season scrimmage and didn't count as a win.

This one does, and Maki was a big part of it. He scored the team's first goal, and then after Jake Powell tied it for Kingsford off a nice feed from Gavin Moore, Maki scored a power play goal just 34 seconds into the second period as he made a sweet move past the defenseman and roofed it past Flivver goaltender Brett Berglund.

The Flivvers went back to the box again, and the Emeralds made them pay as Newberry sophomore Gavin Nutkins cashed in with a power play goal at the 3:14 mark to make it 3-1.

Kingsford got it back to within 3-2 as Moore, himself a freshman, beat goaltdender Alex Noble off a feed from Hunter Fortner as the Flivvers won the offensive zone faceoff.

The Emeralds, however, regained the two-goal lead with 3:17 left in the second period when Maki completed his hat trick, with Rahilly drawing the main assist. That came moments after Noble robbed Fortner on a point-blank chance that would have tied the game.

Manistique (2-1-1) put it away with two more goals in the first 3:45 of the third period. Maki scored his fourth goal of the game on the power play at 2:50, and then less than a minute later, Newberry junior Zach Burton found the back of the net to make it a 6-2 game.

Kingsford (2-4-0) got one back when the Emeralds turned the puck over in their own zone and Niko Burgoon smacked it into the net for the goal with 7:04 left in the game.

The icing on the cake came on another Manistique power play as Petrich buried one with 2:53 left in the game.

Petrich is the only player on the roster with varsity high school hockey experience after he played the past two seasons with the Escanaba Eskymos (taking on-line classes at Gladstone to be a part of that co-op). Now, the multiple 110-mile-round-trip drives are over for Petrich as he finally gets to play varsity hockey in his Manistique hometown.

Manistique outshot Kingsford, 27-23. The Emeralds will be back in action Friday night with a game in Munising against the Marquette Redmen Junior Varsity team. It will be the only game of the season for this co-op hockey team on the Munising ice.

LISTEN: Johnny Nutkins player spotlight interview
LISTEN: Kobie Petrich player spotlight interview
LISTEN: Manistique Coach John Nutkins