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Marquette Electricians dominate West Michigan Hounds

January 23, 2012
By AMANDA MONTHEI - Journal Sports Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - The Marquette Electricians Midget AAA hockey team began this weekend with one thing in mind.

The Electros needed a three-game sweep of the West Michigan Hounds, three wins that would secure another week atop the Northern Lakes Hockey League standings.

What they got weren't just wins, but complete dominations, as the Electricians defeated the Hounds by more than six points in two of three games, winning 7-1 in their first game on Saturday, 3-2 on Saturday night and 11-0 on Sunday.

"It was a big weekend for us," Electricians head coach Mark Nebel said. "We needed a sweep to keep our lead in the league, but our kids worked hard and played very disciplined."

Marquette's Patrick Sofer capped the weekend with a hat trick on Sunday, in addition to a goal he scored in Saturday's second game.

Easton Viitala led the scoring effort for the Electricians over the entire of the weekend, scoring five goals and also contributing two assists. He scored twice in both the Sunday and Saturday morning games.

Jesse Junttila and Levi Wunder each added two goals a piece for the Electricians.

For one Electrician - goaltender Charlie Mitch - the shutout and the weekend in general was especially satisfying.

Mitch, who is native of Brown Deer, Wis., played for the Hounds until November, before relocating to Marquette to play.

"(Nebel) picked me up and I love it up here," Mitch said. "We've been playing really well, and it was a big weekend to win all three games. It was nice to play my old team and nice to win."

Mitch, as well as over half of the Electricians squad who are not local to the area, is staying with a host family in order to play.

However, his finding a temporary home - and team to play with - in Marquette turned out to be a complicated series of events. In fact, Mitch tried out for the Electricians last winter and was turned away before ultimately deciding to play for West Michigan.

"This year in the summer I wanted him to come play," said Nebel, who wasn't coaching when Mitch was rejected the first time. "But he was already committed to the Hounds. Then they released him (in November), and as soon as they released him, he called me. It was perfect timing because we had just lost our goaltender."

"I called Mark and he was nice enough to take me in," Mitch added. "It's been good ever since."

The team will travel to Minnesota For a three-game series next weekend against Shattuck St. Mary's AAA, but, according to Mitch, the team has a couple things to work on beforehand.

"I think the one thing is that we just need to stay out of the box," Mitch said. "When we're in the box, the game is always close, but you can't take penalties and win."



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