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Granite City advances to 3HL Championship game with win

April 1, 2012

The St. Louis Jr. Blues celebrate a goal in Sunday's 5-3 win over Toledo. They will face the Granite City Lumberjacks in the 3HL Championship game on Monday, April 2nd.

St. Louis 5 vs. Toledo 3 – In their tune-up for their 3HL Championship game appearance on Monday, the St. Louis Jr. Blues completed the round-robin portion of the tournament undefeated with a 5-3 win over the Toledo Cherokee.

Toledo would score the only goal of the 1st period as Austin Fletcher converted a shot past St. Louis goaltender Clint Steinmeyer.

St. Louis struck back early in the 2nd period with a goal from Sam Turner to make it 1-1.  Patrick Smiatacz gave the Jr. Blues the lead back at 2-1, but not before Philip Lux would again tie the score before the 2nd intermission with a goal to make it 2-2.

St. Louis took their first lead of the game on a goal less than five minutes into the 3rd period from Trace Jablin.  Andrew Benyo answered back for Toledo just :28 seconds later to knot the game at 3-3.  It wasn’t until with less than two minutes remaining in the game that St. Louis finally gained the edge for good as Tyler Opilka scored the game-winning goal on a nice backhand shot that just found its way over the shoulder of Toledo goaltender Austyn Roudebush.   Kerry McGlynn would add a goal just :10 seconds later to make the final score, 5-3.

St. Louis finished the round-robin a perfect 3-0-0, while Toledo finished in 4th place with a 0-3-0 record. Boxscore

Flint 2 vs. Granite City 3 – A 3rd period goal from Trevor Ness proved to be the difference as Granite City advanced to the 3HL Championship game with a 3-2 win over the Flint Jr. Generals on Sunday.

Granite City outshot Flint 12-7 in the 1st period, but Ben Myers held the fort in the Flint net.  That led to the game’s first goal as Warren Carter streaked in, received a pass from Josh Kestner, and then slid the puck underneath Jacks goalie Matt Grove for the only goal in the 1st period.

After a fairly even first half of the 2nd period which saw both goaltenders make some great saves, Granite City tied the game on the power play as a shot from the point was saved, but Zac Sikich was in front to pick up the loose rebound which he put over the shoulder of Myers to tie the game at 1-1.  With 1:17 remaining in the 2nd period, Granite City would take their first lead of the game as Aaron Azevedo was left unmarked on the back door and poked home a loose puck behind Myers.

It didn’t take long for Flint to tie the gamein the 3rd period, as less than three minutes in, Andy Lay snuck behind the defense to put a shot past Matt Grove to tie the game at 2-2.  Four minutes later, Granite City would regain the lead for good as Trevor Ness one-timed a shot after a great pass from behind the net from Peter Lindblad for the eventual game-winning goal.  Grove and Myers both played well the rest of the game keeping the score at 3-2 as time ran out. Boxscore

Granite City advances to Monday’s 3HL Championship game against the St. Louis Jr. Blues, while flint finishes the tournament at 1-2-1 and in 3rd place. The 3HL Championship game on Monday, April 2nd begins at 12:30pm and can viewed live on FASTHockey.

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