ALPENA - Senior Dusty Goupille put everyone in the Upper Peninsula on alert Friday night that this year's Negaunee High School hockey team is not the same as in past years.
After the Miners struggled the past few seasons, Goupille led Negaunee in its season opener with a double hat trick - six goals - and amazingly put four of them home in shorthanded situations.
Negaunee won 10-4 over Lapeer on the first day of the Alpena Tournament to advance to today's 10 a.m. championship game against Utica Stevenson, which defeated the Alpena JV team, 7-2, on Friday.
The former Marquette Electricians Midget AAA hockey player finished off his first hat trick before the opening period was over and had a hat trick's worth of shorthanded goals within the first five minutes of the second stanza.
"We didn't know what to expect this season, so we're excited to see what we have," NHS coach Eric Hill said. "We knew Dusty was an excellent player who could help us, so we feel lucky to have him.
"He's a fast skater and outskates just about everybody. He's hungry for the puck and has a nose for the net."
Hill said when a puck got away from a Lapeer player during one of its power plays, Goupille would intercept it and be off to the races. Sophomore teammate Cole Francis added his own hat trick, while senior Nate Clisch assisted on each of those goals. Other assists were credited to sophomore Eric Farley and seniors Bryce Blewett and Ely Goupille.
After Lapeer opened the scoring about five minutes in, Dusty Goupille tied the score with a shorthanded tally two minutes later. Two more goals by him and one by Francis made it 4-1 after one period.
Dusty Goupille scored twice more in the second, both shorthanders, and Francis had another for a 7-2 advantage after two, then Dusty Goupille, Francis and sophomore Michael Farley got the Miners into double digits in the third.
Though Negaunee only held a narrow 27-25 shots advantage, Miners sophomore goalie Anthony Moyle stopped 21 shots to allow his team to cruise to the easy victory.