Grand Rapids hands CEC first loss of season

Grand Rapids did what none of the other teams this season who played Cloquet-Esko-Carlton in hockey could do - defeat the Jacks, giving them their first loss of the season, 2-0.

Grand Rapids did what none of the other teams this season who played Cloquet-Esko-Carlton in hockey could do - defeat the Jacks, giving them their first loss of the season, 2-0.

"I can't say I was completely surprised," said CEC coach Dave Esse. "Rapids is well coached, they have a very good team and they came out flying with a lot of emotion."

The first period was all Thunderhawks who finished the period with 18 shots on Lumberjack goaltender Reid Ellingson.

Joe Stejskal scored at 14:11 on the power play with Patrick White and Cory Kosak assisting for the Thunderhawks giving them a 1-0 lead.

"It is a small rink and they were all jacked up right from the start and then we took some penalties," mentioned Esse. "I was also upset about a delay of game call on Ellingson that I still believe they made the wrong call on."


A minute and a half later Brett Cone scored with an assist to White again, making it 2-0 coming out of the first period.

"When we got in the locker room after the first period I told the guys we can't let anyone intimidate us and we need to come out and play good hard-nosed hockey," explained Esse. "We played very well in the second period and we had a lot of chances, but we just didn't get the bounces."

Neither team scored the rest of the game, but both teams had their chances and Ellingson shut the door on the pesky Thunderhawks while Reider Jenson was equally brilliant for Grand Rapids.

"We know we had a target on our backs with the undefeated record," mentioned Esse. "I didn't like the way we came out and we were gripping our sticks way too tight."

Two main reasons for the turn around in the second period was the play of forward Adam Boleman and defender David Brown who both played physical and with emotion.

"I thought Brown played extremely well and Boleman was outstanding," stated Esse. "We also have had a great effort all season from Riley Roe who has had the most consistent work ethic of anyone on the team."

One concern for Esse and the Jacks was the slow start, which has been a problem throughout a number of the games this year.

"Everyone has a job to do and we all need to do our job," explained Esse. "We have 20 pieces to the chain and we're only as good as the weakest link. If one link is broken it affects the next part of the chain."


  • On Thursday the Lumberjacks romped to a 7-2 win over Superior despite being tied at 2-2 after the first stanza.

Justin Jokinen scored four times in the win and the Jacks pumped in five goals over the final two periods to pick up the win.
Jokinen scored at 2:18 of the first with Jake Rychlak assisting, and Tyler Johnson scored from Dylan Anderson and Victor Karlsson at 4:46 to give CEC a 2-0 edge. However, the Spartans picked up back-to-back goals from Brian Pierpont and Nate Hendry and the first period ended even.

In the second period Karlsson scored from Brown and Johnson at 14:52 on the power play. At 15:04 it was Jokinen from Karlsson and Rychlak on the power play, and then at 16:52 Jokinen scored again with Anderson and Karlsson assisting.

Jokinen scored his fourth goal at 8:09 of the third period with Johnson and Jamie Godbout assisting, and at 15:48 Josh Ermatinger slammed in a rebound with assists going to Kyle Potswald and Zach Dunaisky.

Ellingson made 20 saves on 22 shots and Spartan netminder Kyle Johnson finished with 38 saves on 40 shots.

Pine Journal sports reporter Kerry Rodd can be contacted at: .

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