MERCY! Eskymos Roll Past Dexter In Alpena, 10-2

Click the thumbnails to see photos and videos, and hear post-game comments from Karson Krutina, Riley Stannard, and Alex Schwalbach. Also hear from Coach Andy Johnson, and listen to Clayton Smith's player spotlight interview.

The Escanaba High School hockey team opened a three-game-in-three-day stretch in Lower Michigan on Tuesday, beating the Dexter Dreadnaughts,10-2, in the Alpena Christmas Classic. Four different Eskymos scored two goals each in the victory.

The game was called on the mercy rule with 7:52 left in the third period.

"I just told the boys in the locker room that I was proud of them," Eskymo Coach Andy Johnson said. "That that's the way that Eskymo hockey needs to be played. It kind of gave me chills talking to them because I was just super proud of how they responded."

"I think we did pretty good," said Eskymo captain Karson Krutina, who was one of four Eskymos to score two times in the game. "We were working well out there together and we were having fun. We had good passing. We got a lot of shots on net (33 in total), and we had more time to work out there. They gave us more space, and we used it."

After Dexter's Gage Pulford scored early in the first period, Krutina knocked home the tying goal off the rush from Riley Stannard. Then defenseman Gunner Bourdeau bounced back from a miserable game last Thursday in which he receied five penalties by scoring a pair of goals from back at the point, giving Escanaba  3-1 lead.

The Eskymos, however, left goaltender Bryce Buchbinder out to dry when they turned the puck over right onto Jonathon Roseelt's stick. He buried it to close to within 3-2.

But Escanaba picked it back up in the second period.  Trevor Streichert scored at the 3:03 mark to make it 4-2, then late in the period, the Eskymos scored a pair of goals 13 seconds apart by Krutina (unassisted) and Jayger LaMarch. That made it a 6-2 game and meant the hook for Dexter goaltender Aiden Binkley, who was replaced by Cade Stock.

Things did not get better for Dexter in the third period as the Eskymos swarmed the net and scored four times, one by Sawyer LaMarch, another by Jayger LaMarch, then goals by Stannard and Streichert to end the game on the eight-goal mercy rule.

Freshman defenseman Alex Schwalbach, playing in place of injured defenseman Brett Labre, was the game's #3 star at the blue line.

"I feel great," Schwalbach said after being given the team's hard-working "hard hat". "Everybody was skating good and wewere all doing great out there. Last week, when Coach Andy came into the locker room, he was like 'can you play any D' and I was like, 'yeah'. I was so nervous. But it ended up being good, and I just hope to keep going."

Another freshman, Stannard, got the #2 star for a goal and an assist.

"It felt great," Stannard said. "Other teams we've played in the past were real physical but these downstate teams, not as much. They are more skilled down here. It feels pretty cool working the puck back-and-forth with my teammates. Getting points here and there."

Streichert, Bourdeau, Krutina, and Jayger LaMarch all registered two goals each. Streichert added three assists for a five-point game, and Krutina had two assists for four total points. Sawyer LaMarch had three assists to go along with his goal to also have four points.

Escanaba broke a three-game losing streak and improed to 6-5-0 on the season. Dexter fell to 2-5-0. The Eskymos will face the host Alpena Wildcats on Wednesday afternoon at 2:00. The game will be broadcast on FM-93.5/AM-600, and at on-line.

LISTEN: Karson Krutina #1 star interview
LISTEN: Riley Stannard #2 star interview
LISTEN: Alex Schwalbach #3 star interview
LISTEN: Clayton Smith player spotlight interview
LISTEN: Coach Andy Johnson post-game comments