Butte Copper City Kings claim prep hockey crown

The state champion Butte Copper City Kings. They are (kneeling) Bryce Stewart, Keegan Williams; (standing) Brian Park Coach, Cade Wyatt, Noah McGee, Gabe LeProwse, Alex Kober, Aiden Francisco,Hunter McGinnis, Carsten Quam, Nathan Kent, Russell Park, Brandon Lyons, Andrew Kober, Chris Shadow Coach, Glen Cunningham Coach; (back row) Robin Bagley, Justin Cunningham and Nolan Samples. (Courtesy photo)

MILES CITY — The Butte Copper City Kings High School team swept the tournament field to win the Montana Amateur Hockey Association High School B Championship this weekend.

The Kings used a balanced scoring attack, strong third period performances, and a solid defense that allowed only a total of five goals to win all four of their games. Butte finished the tournament with a 6-2 victory over the Havre Ice Hawks in the Sunday championship game.

The Kings opened the tournament with a 6-0 victory over Havre in a hard fought game that saw a total of 58 penalty minutes called between the two teams. Butte’s scoring started in the first period on a power play goal by Robin Bagley off of an assist by defensemen Russell Park.

The Kings added to the lead with a Carsten Quam goal at the 10:15 mark of the second period with assists credited to Alex Kober and Hunter McGinnis. The Kings came out after the second intermission with four third period goals to take the game out of Havre’s reach. Bagley added his second goal of the game followed by two consecutive goals by Justin Cunningham. Hunter McGinnis found the net for the final goal of the game on an assist by Brandon Lyons. Keegan Williams was in the net for the Kings and made a total of 21 saves for the shutout victory.

Butte paired up against the Glasgow Ice Dawgs for a Saturday morning match up and coasted to an 8-2 victory. The Kings jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead on even strength goals by Hunter McGinnis, Carsten Quam, and Robin Bagley. McGinnis, Justin Cunningham and Aiden Francisco all scored goals for Butte in the second period as the Kings extended their lead to 6-1 heading into the second intermission. Cunningham added his second goal in the third period on an assist by Gabe LeProwse and McGinnis completed a hat trick with his third goal to give the Kings their eighth goal for the game. Goaltender Bryce Stewart was credited with 13 saves in the Butte win.

The Kings matched up against the host Miles City Generals in the Saturday night contest and escaped with a 5-1 victory. After a scoreless first period, Robin Bagley and Alex Kober both found the net for the Kings with second period power play goals. McGinnis and Quam were credited with assists on both goals and the Kings took a 2-1 lead into the locker room during the second intermission. The Kings pulled away from the Generals with three goals in another strong third period. McGinnis opened the third period scoring on a power play goal assisted by Quam. Aiden Francisco added an unassisted goal and Alex Kober capped off the Butte scoring at the 1:08 mark on an assist from Andrew Kober. The Kings used both Bryce Stewart and Keegan Williams in the net and the two accounted for a total of 15 saves.

The Copper City Kings faced the Havre Ice Hawks in a rematch for the Sunday championship and were victorious by a 6-2 margin in another rough game that saw a total of 40 penalty minutes. Andrew Kober opened the scoring for the Kings at the 10:30 mark of the first period on an even strength goal assisted by Alex Kober. Noah McGee added a second goal for the Kings on an assist by Russell Park and the Kings took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

Alex Kober found the net for Butte’s lone second period goal and Butte went into the second intermission with a 3-2 lead. The Kings finished with another big third period to score three unanswered goals and put the Ice Hawks away. Alex Kober took a Nathan Kent pass and put his shot past the Havre goalie at the 8:12 mark. Carsten Quam added the second goal of the period on a Butte power play with an assist from Alex Kober at the 9:42 mark. Alex Kober closed out the scoring with his third goal of the game at the 15:09 mark of the period on a pass from Nolan Samples. Keegan Williams was in the net for his final game as a member of the high school team and was credited with 29 saves.

This tournament completes the 2015-16 season for the young Copper City Kings who lose two players to graduation.

— Story submitted by the Butte Copper Kings

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