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St. Louis, Flint pull out close wins on Day 1 of 3HL Championship

March 30, 2012

Richard Jansson had a goal to help Flint edge Toledo on Day 1 of the 3HL Championship.

St. Louis 2 vs. Granite City 1 – It took over two periods to get a goal scored in the first game of the 3HL Championship, but once the 3rd period started it was the St. Louis Jr. Blues answered an early goal from Granite City to post a 2-1 win against the Lumberjacks on Friday at the Fox Valley Arena in Geneva, IL.

For the first two periods, it was a goaltending duel between Granite City’s Matt Grove and St. Louis’ Mitch Fernsler.  Grove had 21 saves through two periods and Fernsler had 25 saves.

It didn’t take long for someone to break the ice in the 3rd period, as Granite City took the lead thanks to a goal from Trevor Ness, who got a pass from behind the net from Riley Bengston and fired a shot over the glove of Fernsler to give the Lumberjacks a 1-0 lead.  St. Louis would answer as a defensive breakdown led to a 2 on 0 break for the Jr. Blues.  Daniel Rosse walked in alone on Grove and beat him to the low blocker side to tie the game at 1-1.  Johnny Mueller assisted on the goal.  Then Mueller would score the eventual game-winning goal just two minutes later as he walked in on a 1-on-1 and beat Grove low to the glove side with an assist coming to Joe Bowler. 

That would be all Fernsler and the Jr. Blues would need as the Lumberjacks could not get Grove pulled for the extra attacker until :40 seconds remaining, but even then the Jr. Blues played great neutral zone defense to secure the win and never give Granite City the good scoring chance they were looking for.
Each team had 34 shots with Fernsler making 33 saves and Grove making 32.  With the win, St. Louis moved to 1-0-0 in the 3HL Championship, while Granite City fell to 0-1-0. Boxscore

Toledo 1 vs. Flint 2 – In the opening period, it would be the Cherokee who would score first.  Off a face-off win by Joe Skrzynski, the puck went to Parker Hack, who wired a shot past Flint goalie Dominic Orlando to give Toledo the 1-0 lead.  However, Flint would tie the game just :35 seconds before intermission.  While on a 5 on 3 power play, Richard Jansson picked up a loose rebound off a shot from Derek Compeau and put a rolling puck past Austyn Roudebush to tie the game at 1-1.

Flint scored the only goal of the 2nd period as William Kocher took advantage of a turnover and fired a shot from the high slot over the glove of Roudebush for a 2-1 lead after two periods.

The 3rd period was more great goaltending from both Orlando and Roudebush as Flint outshot Toledo, 12-7.  However, neither team was able to find of the back of the net again as Flint would hang on for the 2-1 win.  Roudebush would finish with 37 saves in the loss, while Orlando made 22 saves in the win.

Flint (1-0-0) will face St. Louis (1-0-0) in Saturday’s late game at 7:30pm, while Toledo (0-1-0) will face Granite City (0-1-0) at 4:30pm. Boxscore

Tickets for the 3HL Championship Tournament will be on sale at the Fox Valley Ice Arena.  Tournament and daily passes will be available for purchase.  Tournament and daily passes for scouts will also be available.  All seven games of the 3HL Championship Tournament can also be viewed live on FASTHockey, the official broadcast provider of the 3HL.

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