3 Things We Learned from the Copper Island Classic

Opening weekend of high school hockey in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is through, and as always the Copper Island Classic did not disappoint. Hancock defeated Calumet in game one 8-5, and then on Saturday 4-3. Did not expect Calumet to win either game this past weekend, but showed they can put up a fight. Hancock won the series 12-8, and now have won back to back John Sherf Trophies. But here is what else we learned after this big weekend in high school hockey.

  1. Hancock can be a scoring machine

When you score eight goals in one game, you expect the point parade to be spread out among the team. Not in this case. Alex Nordstrom and Ted Randell put up four goals EACH. Not a bad day for those two. Both put up six points total that night. If it wasn’t for Petr Anderson getting two assists, Nordstrom and Randell would have been the only two on the score sheet.  After the weekend they both tailed eight points, and have started this season off in a full blown sprint.

Coming into this season it doesn’t surprise me that these two are putting up points already. My only question is if a team finds a way to slow down those two, who will be able to score? Tchida got involved in game two, but who else can step up when needed? For now Hancock looks to be a scoring machine, but watch other teams to start looking to created a shut down line to just stop Nordstrom and Randell.

2. Calumet is young, but tough

Giving up eight goals in your first game is rough, trust me I know. My first game went 7-0 (And then 6-0 I think, which ended up being the first time Calumet did not score in a Copper Island Classic, but let’s not worry about that). Voelker ended up being pulled, which was not his fault, Patrick Roy would have been pulled in that case. You could tell Calumet’s defense was just inexperienced in that first game. Hancock was taking advantage of that inexperience, and was able to put up an eight spot.

My biggest question was how would game number two would turn out. Being able to contain Hancock to four goals, and to make a small comeback in the game is big for a young team. They showed their toughness to rebound after a big loss the night before. Voelker being able to bounce back is a great sign for Calumet. I knew the first games for Calumet would be tough, but it will be for the better. Should be interesting to see come playoffs how this Calumet team matches up with Hancock.

3. Brent Loukus is ready for the top role

Brent is a solid player, great I might add. I was able to watch him dominate youth hockey while I officiated ice hockey in high school. He was one of those players that you just knew he would do great things in high school. Brent made it his freshman year, and did not exactly light up the score sheet night in and night out. Some people criticized picking him his freshmen year, saying he was not ready.

Listen, it takes time to adjust to the high school level of play. Going from Bantam travel to varsity hockey is not an easy transition. Playing one year as a senior, I never felt comfortable as I could have been that whole season. Brent is a million times better of a hockey player than I was, so I knew it would maybe take a season to get his feet wet.

Once his sophomore season came he figured it out, and now is ready to be the top dog. No more Rory Anderson, no more Ed Beiring, it is his team. I think Brent Loukus showed this opening weekend he is ready for this. Already with four points, Brent will be the backbone to this team.

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