WEST 3 VS CENTRAL 1
By/Par: Graeme Kishiuchi
In the first Semi-final, the first place Saskatoon Contacts took on the fourth place Don Mills Flyers, a re-match of a rough and chippy affair 24 hours earlier. Both teams came out flying, but it was the Contacts that controlled the play early, and got off to a near perfect start. 54 seconds into the game, Nick Kalnicki put one past Sean DeZilva for a 1-0 Contacts lead. 11 seconds later, Dustin Cameron took a cross ice pass and hammered it by DeZilva for a 2-0 Contacts start, 65 seconds into the game. The Flyers responded and had some great chances of their own, with Travis Yonkman making some great stops. The rest of the period continued at a torrid pace and both teams took turns with flurries around either net. Don Mills created four good chances on their only power play of the period, but Yonkman turned them away each time. The teams headed into the first intermission with the Contacts leading 2-0, and out-shooting Don Mills 17-12.
The Don Mills Flyers regrouped during the intermission and started the period strong. The line of Scott Howes, James New and Shane Elliott were very effective and controlled much of the play. Howes had a good chance but was hauled down Eric Gryba or he would have been in alone. The majority of the chances in the first half of the period belonged to Don Mills, including a wrister from the slot by Brodie Fitzpatrick that Yonkman just got with his pad. When the Contacts got their first power play of the period, they made it count when TELUS Cup MVP David Richard lifted a backhand over DeZilva for a 3-0 Contacts lead. Don Mills out shot Saskatoon 11-4 in the second, but gave up a goal to head to the intermission down 3-0.
Don Mills had another good start and controlled the start of the third period getting a couple of good chances. Kyle Wetering picked the puck up at centre and made a slick move at the line and bounced in his own rebound to bring the Flyers within two at 18:08. Don Mills then got called for too many men and a great series of action ensued. Wetering had a shorthanded breakaway from his own blue line and Yonkman made a pad save on the deke to deny him. The Contacts took the puck to the other end off the rebound and Kyle Bortis was robbed by DeZilva’s glove. After the face-off, Bortis again ripped one high, and again DeZilva flashed the leather to stop him. Don Mills had some great chances following the penalty kill, ending with Kyle Ventura picking up a bouncing puck during a scramble in the slot but Yonkman made a great stop. DeZilva continued to make amazing stops in the closing minute to give his team a chance, as the Flyers headed to the power play with just over a minute to play. Saskatoon cleared the zone and Bortis couldn’t put a rolling puck into an open net, but the Contacts held on and moved on to the finals with a 3-1 win. The Players of the Game from this exciting semi-final; Travis Yonkman (30 saves) for Saskatoon and James New for Don Mills.
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