By Dan Hardenbrook
The Emeralds Varsity Hockey team continued their winning ways in one of the most well-rounded victories in program history on Saturday. Dominating every facet of the game, the Emeralds set a program record for shots on goal and allowed one of the fewest shot totals in team history in a 6-0 win over the Petoskey Northmen. The game was the final home contest for the Emeralds this season, who celebrated their senior class of players prior to the game.
Once the puck dropped, it was clear that Manistique had a leg up. The Northmen have struggled this season, and lost the night before in a mercy against the same Negaunee team the Emeralds had defeated twice earlier this season.
The Emeralds hit the ice with fresh legs and an intense effort, often out skating the Northmen and winning the race to loose pucks on both ends of the ice. The effort resulted in a whopping shot on goal total of 52 for the Emeralds, while they stifled the Northmen attack giving up just 9 shots defensively.
Carsyn Hinkson got the scoring started with 5:12 remaining in the first period on a shot from the high slot, the first of many on the day for Manistique. Stephen Allen and Carter Lavigne teamed up for a beautiful back and forth play in the final seconds of the first period to make it 2-0 Emeralds at the intermission.
The momentum continued in the second period, where the Emeralds out shot Petoskey 15-3 and put the game out of reach. Gavin Nutkins scored the first of two goals on the day, and one of those celebrated seniors, Chazze Bultema, hammered home his first goal of the season to make it 4-0.
Bultema’s goal completed a clean sweep for the Emeralds this season: Every player who has stepped on the ice has scored at least once in a game this season.
Munising’s Blake Walther, who’d hit the goal post several times earlier in the contest, finally got one to go midway through the third to make it 5-0. Nutkins scored his second in the final minute to cap off a game where the Emeralds nearly finished with more goals than shots allowed. Goalies Alex Noble and Jackson Goudreau combined for the shutout, with Noble making eight saves before Goudreau took over midway through the third and stopped the only attempt he faced.
The Emeralds continue their season on the road in Gaylord this weekend.