FWFN Northstars (CEN) 4 - CR Joliette Action (EST) 3
Overtime was needed to decide the most important game of the tournament for both the Fort William North Stars and l’Action de Joliette. To the winner, a temporary hold on a semi-final spot; to the loser, an 0-2 record and a difficult task ahead.
North Stars defenceman Jarryd Brend preferred to be in the position of the winner and came through for his team when he netted the game winner at 2:54 of the second overtime period. After Fort William broke through the neutral zone on a 3-2, Josh Slobodian fired a shot and the long rebound came straight to Brend who did not hesitate and put it upstairs on Steve Hartley.
The final minutes of the third were an emotional one. The North Stars were on their way to a victory after Morrison’s second goal of the night that gave Fort William a 3-2 lead, but Joliette came scoring back and 1 min. 47 seconds later notched it up at 3-3. Morrison, who was battling a Joliette defender, banked the puck off the back of the net to escape the check and came out in front to slide it home. Joliette responded when David Poulin made no mistake burying a shot from in tight to keep his team alive.
The North Stars found themselves on their heels in their own end for most of the first period and their situation worsened when Robert Bortuzzo received a game misconduct midway through the first period for checking from behind. Having only dressed five defencemen to start the game, the North Stars were forced to play the remainder of the game with only four natural defencemen.
Joliette scored the first goal of the game at 4:25 of the first. Sebastien Gauthier took a hard shot form the slot that Carter Hutton could not handle and Bobby Mazerolle banged home the rebound. Mazerolle had a scare mid-way through the second as he was sent flying in the boards by Merlyn Smith who was called for checking to the head. Although he was a little rattled, he was able to skate back to the bench on his own.
Fort William’s first goal came with the man advantage at 13:27 of the second. Denis Morrison took a feed from Joey Nigro and walked out from the corner, out-waited the goaltender and roofed his backhand past Hartley who went down early. Fort William scored their second power play goal of the game when a deflected pass came bouncing to Kory McEwan, who slapped home a knuckler behind Hartley.
Joliette’s second goal of the game came off a nicely orchestrated odd man rush. David Poulin pulled the lone Fort William defender with him in the corner and proceeded to make a perfect -pass across the crease to a wide open Jean-Philippe Beaulieu who put it past Hutton.
L’Action de Joliette will now need help from the other teams in the tournament if they are to have a life after round robin play.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME:
JOLIETTE: Bobby Mazerolle
GAME NOTES: Joliette registered 7 shots on goal before Fort William had their first mid-way through the opening period … Denis Morrison recorded his second multi-point night (2g, 1a) in as many games … The two Fort Wiliiam power play goals were their first of the tournament
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