The Hounds led 4-0 after two periods, then poured on four more in the third.
Rogowski struck just nine seconds in, Flores buried a pair of back-to-back goals and Rogowski closed out his hat trick with 2:27 left.
“Friday, it seemed like we were a little rusty,” Gardiner said. “We hadn’t played in awhile. There’s no excuses, though. And Saturday, we came out with some intensity and fire.”
A very long second period included 14 penalties, including a fight between Sault Ste. Marie’s Justin Garton and TC’s Hansen six minutes in.
Garton was ejected for instigating the fight, jumping Hansen from behind and punching him several times while Hansen lay on the ice. Simmons was ejected for being the third man in.
In between penalty calls, fights and near-fights, Rogowski gave Traverse City a 3-0 lead on a 2-on-1 rush with Luca, capping off Luca’s cross-ice pass with a one-timer to beat goalie Anthony Benvenuiti to the post.
Luca would make it 4-0 with a power-play goal with just six ticks remaining, as Jake Gillis drew an assist. Gillis finished the night with four helpers, and Premsyl Synek had three.
The Hounds took an early 1-0 lead on Josh Smith’s shot to the far post 4:02 into the game. A few minutes later, he almost made it 2-0, but went wide left with a short-handed rush attempt.
Luca’s slapshot off a long rebound put Traverse City up 2-0 with 8:25 left in the first.
Tyler Thirlby was whistled for a five-minute slashing major a minute later, but the Firehawks shirt-circuited a shot to get right back into the game with two penalties of their own.
“We scored those couple goals early,” Gardiner said. “And then we killed off that five-minute penalty. That was huge. We did a really nice job of the PK. Obviously, there were a lot of penalties on both sides.”