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Late-game drama keeps Silver Cup hopes alive for Lumberjacks, Bulls

March 31, 2017

Sean Mallonee had two goals in a 3-2 overtime win on Thursday night, which kept the Silver Cup hopes alive for the North Iowa Bulls.

#5 Atlanta Capitals 3 vs. #1 Metro Jets 2 – The Atlanta Capitals stayed in the hunt for the spot in the Silver Cup Semi-Finals by becoming the first of the four lower seeds to pick up a win as they upended the top-seeded Metro Jets on Thursday, 3-2.  Both teams are now 1-1 in the round-robin. Early on it was the Sascha Figi show for the Capitals as the Capitals leading scorer got his team a quick 1-0 lead with a shorthanded goal early in the 1st period. Figi then made it 2-0 with a goal midway through the 2nd period. The Jets cut the Atlanta lead back to one as Chase Sereno scored late in the 2nd period to make it 2-1 at the end of two periods. In the 3rd period, the Caps went up by two again as Dillon Steh scored his first goal of the Championship, which would ultimately stand as the game-winner. Chas Distelrath had the other goal for the Jets later in the period to make it 3-2. Capitals goalie Nolan Bivolcic would make the lead stand the rest of the way and made several outstanding saves in the win, ultimately ending up with 39 on the night. Metro goalie Jake Gwillim made 14 saves in the loss. Boxscore

#8 Granite City Lumberjacks 4 vs. #4 St. Louis Jr. Blues 3 – With their season on the line, the Granite City Lumberjacks erased deficits of 2-0 and 3-1 and scored three goals in the 3rd period to pick up their first win of the Silver Cup as they came from behind to beat the Jr. Blues, 4-3. Both teams are now 1-1 after their first two games. It was all Jr. Blues in the 1st period as goals from Joe Papa and Brandon Bornkamp put St. Louis up 2-0. In the 2nd period, the teams traded goals as Owen Sikich scored for the Lumberjacks, only to see Zach Mitchell answer for St. Louis to make the score 3-1 at the end of two periods. The Lumberjacks comeback started early in the 3rd period on a goal from Casey Esselman to make the score 3-2. Then, Sikich scored his second goal of the game as he converted on a 2 on 1 to tie the game at 3-3 win under seven minutes remaining in regulation. With just seconds remaining in the 3rd period, the Lumberjacks picked up the game-winner and season-saver as Brady Dahl swooped in on a loose puck in front and roofed a shot over Jr. Blues goalie Sawyer Schmidt with just 2.9 seconds remaining for the win. Mac Berglove made 30 saves in the win for Granite City, while Schmidt stopped 24 of 28 shots in the loss. Boxscore

#3 Yellowstone Quake 5 vs. #7 Long Beach Sharks 2 – The Yellowstone Quake moved to 2-0 in the round-robin with a convincing 5-2 win over the Long Beach Sharks, who fell to 0-2 at the event. Yellowstone jumped ahead early with two goals in the 1st period as Jesse Lawman and Reed Kelly scored.  The Sharks made a game of things early in the 2nd period as the cut the lead to 2-1 thanks to a goal from Carmine Taffo.  However, after that, the Quake went to work on the power play scoring three straight goals with the man advantage thanks to tallies from Max Meyer, Hunter Ruschmeyer and Curt Greenbush to make the score 5-1 at the end of two periods. In the 3rd period, the Quake scaled things back with the game in hand, allowing just one more goal to the Sharks as Taffo scored his second goal of the night to make the final score, 5-2. Quake goalie Nick Ottenbacher put in another good performance, making 24 saves, while Kyle Van Wagner took the loss with 29 saves. Boxscore

#6 North Iowa Bulls 3 vs. #2 Binghamton Junior Senators 2 (OT) – The North Iowa Bulls kept their Silver Cup hopes alive with a 3-2 overtime win over Binghamton in the final game of Day 2. Things were looking good for the Bulls early on as Sean Mallonee scored in the 1st period and again in the 2nd period to give North Iowa a 2-0 lead through two periods. However, the Junior Senators did not go away as Conor Landrigan scored twice in a five-minute span in the 3rd period to tie the game and send it to overtime. In the overtime, it took less than a minute for the Bulls to win it as Nick Klishko poked home a loose puck in front for the game-winner. Under the point system, the Bulls got two points for the OT win, while the Junior Senators got one point for the OT loss. Drew Scites made 27 saves in the win for the Bulls, while Sal Lauretta made 28 saves in the overtime loss. Binghamton’s record sits at 1-0-1 through two games, while the Bulls are 1-1-0. Boxscore

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