Granite City 5 vs. Toledo 2 – Granite City stayed alive in the 3HL Championship with a 5-2 win over Toledo on Saturday.
The Lumberjacks completely controlled the 1st period and it didn’t take long for them to get on the scoreboard first. Zac Sikich scored off a Toledo turnover to make it 1-0 just over a minute into the game. Blayne Ellson made it 2-0 with a power play goal that ended Toledo’s starting goalie Lukas Gavalier’s night early. Austyn Roudebush came in the game in relief and didn’t fare much better as Peter Lindblad scored to make it 3-0 and Riley Bengston scored to give the Jacks a 4-0 lead at the end of one period.
Toledo did a complete turnaround in the 2nd period, as they scored twice to get back in the game. Ben Henry scored to make it 4-1 with assists to Ryan Kelly and Trevor Ruiz. Less than four minutes later it was Kelly scoring with an assist to Mike Baker. After firing nine shots on goal in the 1st period, Toledo launched a game-high 12 in the 2nd period on Lumberjacks goalie Matt Grove.
Both Grove and Roudebush shined in the 3rd period until Nick LaRue cemented the win for Granite City on a rebound goal with assists to Lindblad and Bengston giving the Jacks a 5-2 lead and final score. Grove finished with 29 saves, while Roudebush made 32 saves.
Granite City moved their 3HL Championship record to 1-1-0, while Toledo fell to 0-2-0. Boxscore
Flint 3 vs. St. Louis 4 – Mitch Fernsler’s 26 saves and Joe Bowler’s three points were enough to trump a hat-trick from Flint’s Warren Carter as the Jr. Blues defeated the Flint Jr. Generals, 4-3.
The Jr. Blues struck first thanks to a power play goal from Paul O’Connor, whose shot beat Flint goaltender Ben Myers for a 1-0 St. Louis lead. However, Flint would strike back less than four minutes later, also converting on a power play goal as Warren Carter got a pass from the corner from Josh Kestner and one-timed a blast past Jr. Blues goalie Mitch Fernsler. Joe Bowler would give St. Louis the lead back at 2-1 as he drove to the net and deflected a shot behind Myers.
Each team would score in the second period. St. Louis would take a 3-1 lead off the stick of Patrick Gregory with less than a minute remaining, but Carter would answer back for his second of the game for Flint with just :13 seconds remaining in the period to make the score 3-2.
Carter would open the 3rd period tying the game at 3-3 and recording a hat-trick as he fired a blast past Fernsler. St. Louis would take the lead back with a power play goal from Daniel Rosse. Jr. Blues goaltender Mitch Fernsler made the lead stand up the rest of the way with several spectacular saves including killing off a late 5 on 3 Flint power play.
With the win St. Louis moves to 2-0-0 and into Monday’s 3HL Championship game regardless of their result against Toledo on Sunday. Flint falls to 1-1-0 and will face Granite City on Sunday with the winner advancing to the 3HL title game against St. Louis. Boxscore
Sunday will feature two more games with St. Louis facing Toledo at 2:30pm. The Jr. Blues have already locked up their spot in the 3HL Championship on Monday, while Toledo has been eliminated. The second game of the day will feature Flint playing Granite City at 5:30pm with the winner advancing to Monday's title game against St. Louis. 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.