The NA3HL Silver Cup Championship picture became a lot clearer after games on Thursday as the Peoria Mustangs punched their ticket to the title game with a win over Cleveland, while Granite City beat Flint to set up a showdown on Friday with North Iowa.
Game #3: Peoria Mustangs 5 vs. Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks 2
The Mustangs dream ride through the NA3HL Silver Cup Championship continued with a 5-2 win over the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks. The win moved the Mustangs to 2-0 in the event and into the title game as the winners of Pool A. For the second straight game, the Mustangs rode the hot goaltending of Michael Parda early. A goal early in the 1st period from Austin Wisely also set the tone. Cory Kettler then gave the Mustangs a big lift with back-to-back goals to counter a goal from Cleveland’s Nick Balavich to make the score 3-1. Brendan Murphy scored late in the 2nd period to make it 4-1 for the Mustangs. Cleveland cut the lead to 4-2 early in the 3rd period on a goal from Mike Palasics, but an empty-net goal from Chance Homerin secured the win for Peoria. The Mustangs have now won 10 straight game, including all five playoff games. They will have a day off on Friday before playing in the Championship game on Saturday. Boxscore
Game #4: Granite City Lumberjacks 5 vs. Flint Jr. Generals 2
In their first game of the Silver Cup Championship Tournament, the Granite City Lumberjacks defeated the Flint Jr. Generals, 5-2. With the loss, Flint fell to 0-2 and were eliminated from the Silver Cup Tournament. Aaron Storch got the Lumberjacks off on the right note as he scored the opening two goals for Granite City, which came seven minutes apart in the 1st period. Flint clawed back to within 2-1 with a goal from Edward Osowski in the 2nd period. However, Storch struck again for a hat-trick with his third consecutive goal for Granite City in the 3rd period to make the score 3-1. Lucas Debenedet scored for the Lumberjacks midway through the 3rd period to make it 4-1. Flint’s Nicholas Gnagni scored to make it 4-2, but a late empty-net goal from Zac Sikich secured the 5-2 win. Granite City, which moved to 1-0, will face North Iowa on Friday for a chance to go to the Championship game for the chance to face Peoria on Saturday. Boxscore
Follow all the Day 2 Silver Cup action on the official website at: http://cup.na3hl.com/
Watch all the games live at FASTHockey