NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Wednesday, May 2, 2013
Photo credit: Chris Dawson
Wilderness blank Buzzers at Dudley-Hewitt Cup in North Bay
NORTH BAY – Minnesota Wilderness (SIJHL) goaltender Gordy Defiel registered his second consecutive shutout stopping all 36 shots fired his way leading his team to a 3-0 victory over the previously unbeaten St. Michael’s Buzzers (OJHL) Thursday afternoon at the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Junior championship at North Bay Memorial Gardens.
Following a 30-minute delay to the start of the game after a pane of glass was shattered in the warm-up, the Superior International Junior Hockey League champion Wilderness struck for the only tally in the opening 20 minutes as forward Dylan Haskins snapped a quick shot low under the outstretched pad of St. Michael’s starter Adrian Ignagni 8:41 into the contest.
Looking to add to their lead early in the middle stanza, Minnesota had a partial break two-man break while shorthanded only to have Ignangni stymie Jeremy Johnson from the left of the crease.
St. Michael’s had a good opportunity of their own, midway through the period, but Defiel thwarted Shane Conacher with a poke-check.
The Buzzers continued to press for the equalizer, but a couple of big saves by Defiel kept the game scoreless after 40 minutes.
An early man advantage opportunity in the third allowed the Wilderness to go up a pair as Jordan Shockley’s harmless looking shot found its way past a screened Buzzers’ goalkeeper who came in contact with Johnson, outside of the crease, just as the puck slid into the net.
Moments after Mitch Marner rang a shot off the crossbar for the OJHL side the SIJHLers countered as Johnson redirected a point shot through a crowd and in to add some insurance and round out the scoring.
Earning player of the game accolades in the contest, which were presented by Hockey Canada Vice-Chair and former NOJHL Commissioner Joe Drago, was Defiel and Ignangni of St. Michael’s, who faced 38 shots overall.
With the result the Wilderness improve to 2-1 and have guaranteed themselves at least a semifinal berth.
With the loss, St. Michael’s slipped to 2-1 having already secured a playoff bid.
This now sets up a pivotal final round robin contest tonight as the host North Bay Trappers (1-1) meet NOJHL rival Soo Thunderbirds (0-2) at 7 p.m. in a must-win game for both teams with the loser of the match-up being eliminated from further play while also determining the final standings among all four competing teams.
April 30-May 4 @ North Bay
North Bay Trappers (Host-NOJHL)
Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL)
Minnesota Wilderness (SIJHL)
St. Michael’s Buzzers (OJHL)
St. Michael’s 4 Soo 2
North Bay 4 Minnesota 1
Minnesota 7 Soo 0
St. Michael’s 5 North Bay 2
Minnesota 3 St. Michael’s 0
North Bay vs. Soo 7 p.m.
Semifinal: 2nd round robin vs. 3rd round robin 7 p.m.
Final: 1st round robin vs. Semifinal winner 7 p.m.