Eskymos’ Wunderkind nets double hat trick in victory

NEGAUNEE – It was the Levi Wunder show Tuesday night as he led the Escanaba Eskymos to an 8-0 hockey victory over the Negaunee Miners in a Division 2 pre-regional playoff opener.

Wunder collected six goals and an assists, running his season scoring total to 86 points (50 goals and 36 assists).

“All we had to do is get Levi the puck and he found the back of the net,” said Esky coach Tim McCarthy. “Although, their goalie made a lot of nice saves.”

The victory sends Esky (23-3) to Marquette for Thursday’s regional semifinal, which begins at 7 p.m.

Wunder scored just 28 seconds into the contest and added a shorthanded, unassisted goal at 7:03 for a two-goal cushion.

Once we got that right away, we were able to keep the pressure on them,” said McCarthy. “Everybody played tonight. We rolled through the lines and did what we had to do.”

The sophomore forward added goals 5:20 into the second stanza on a pass from Jeff Lyle, then went top shelf with another unassisted goal for a 4-0 advantage at 8:46.

Dominic Aos hit Esky’s fifth goal at 12:27 and Wunder again scored shorthanded at 14:37.

Jake Eastin added the seventh goal on a 5-on-3 power play with just two seconds left in the second frame.

Wunder sealed the deal on a power play just 79 seconds into the third period.

The Eskymos outshot Negaunee 27-1 in the first period and finished with a 53-7 shots on goal advantage.

Esky’s Nick LeMire stopped all seven shots while recording a school-record 18th win in net. Negaunee goaltender Tony Moyle had 45 saves.

“Negaunee played hard,” said McCarthy. “They have a young team, but they’re very disciplined. I think they’ll be much stronger next year.”

Marquette advanced by topping Kingsford 7-4 on Tuesday.

“It will be an exciting game in their house (Lakeview Arena),” said McCarthy. “It will be interesting. Our guys are excited for it. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, they’re ready to go.”