The Calumet Wolverines scored a victory in game one of the 2017 Gibson Cup series, defeating the Pioneers 3-2 to take the early lead in the best-of-three series for the third oldest trophy in all of hockey.
- Scoresheet: Calumet 3, Portage Lake 2
Calumet jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period on a goal by Alex VanWagner, and doubled the lead midway through the second period on a tipped shot by Tyler Loukus moments after a Wolverines power play ended.
The home squad wasn’t about to let the game slip away, though. With just under four minutes remaining in the second period Hunter Kero scored in his Gibson Cup debut.
Loukus would put the Wolverines back up by two in the waning moments of the second period.
The third period had all the intensity fans have come to expect from hockey’s oldest rivalry as a pair of scuffles yielded more than 20 penalty minutes for each team, including 10 minutes each to Byron Parks and Griffin Hietila.
The back-and-forth affair eventually gave way to a goal by veteran Charlie Turner with just a minute left in the game, but the Pioneers couldn’t net the equalizer.
Bryan Miller stopped 33 of the 35 Pioneers shots to earn the win in his first Gibson Cup game in more than a decade, while Matt Turunen took the loss with 39 saves. The game was also the final regular Great Lakes Hockey League game of the season for both teams. Portage Lake finished with a 13-12-1 record, while Calumet earned a 11-15-0 record.
Game two is Saturday night at the Calumet Colosseum. Game three, if needed, will be Tuesday at Dee Stadium.