K-9s bite Bears for title
Jesse Quesnel may have to start putting on his goalie equipment in a phone booth if he continues to be the “Man of Steal.”
The netminder was kryptonite to what appeared to be a superhuman Lake of the Woods Bears’ team—making a number of key saves to preserve a 2-1 win for the Fort Frances Kennedy K-9s in the final of the Emo-Devlin-Barwick Minor Hockey Association’s Bantam ‘A’ tournament Sunday at the Emo/La Vallee Arena.
But it was the K-9s who got the all-important first goal in a game where, per tournament rules, the first two 15-minute periods were played straight running time.
Christian Audette drove the net during a Fort Frances rush and, after taking a pass from Brent Jourdain, zipped the puck past Bears’ goalie Lemuel Carradice with 7:03 left in the first.
The Bears intensified their attack in the second, with Quesnel coming up with critical saves time and again.
The Fort goalie stoned Ryan Torgeson on a clear-cut breakaway six minutes into the period.
Three minutes later, Quesnel denied Nathan Poolman, who had a clear path to the net off the right-wing but had his high shot stopped cleanly by the netminder.
Then with just over two minutes left in the frame, Joshua Pieper’s blast from the point deflected off a body just before reaching the net.
But Quesnel, who was leaning the other direction, thrust out his catching glove to knock the puck down in time.
In the third, the Bears got into penalty trouble—giving Fort Frances a pair of two-man advantages.
On the first one, Jourdain busted down the left-wing and wired a shot that beat Carradice high to the glove side with 5:09 gone in the 15-minute stop-time period to make it 2-0.
Lake of the Woods gambled by pulling Carradice with 2:35 to go.
The risk paid off when Poolman maneuvered across the blueline, evaded two K-9s defenders, and whistled a bullet low to the far corner on Quesnel to trim the lead to one with 1:57 left in regulation.
But Quesnel was unbeatable after that—finishing with flair in the final 10 seconds by stopping Poolman’s original shot and then his wraparound attempt.
The K-9s opened the weekend with a 6-1 win over the Holmlund’s Leafs (Fort Frances).
Jourdain had a pair of goals in that one, with Kobi Ward, Brandon Cole, and Byron Stewart netting singles (the sixth goal scorer was not identified).
Landon Woods had the lone goal for the Leafs.
The K-9s then fell 3-0 decision to the Bears for their only loss of the event before fighting back to beat Canadian Tire (Fort Frances) 4-1.
Kaden Nelson struck twice for the K-9s while Jourdain and Cole notched singles.
Daymond Bruyere replied for Canadian Tire.
In a 5-0 win over the host Emo Express, Cole lit the lamp twice, with singles going to Jourdain, Eric Pitkanen, and Stewart.
The K-9s then completed the preliminary round with a 3-2 triumph over the Atikokan Voyageurs.
Jourdain scored twice, including the game-winner with 3:22 left in regulation, while Nelson added the other goal.
Bryan Ribey and Parker Sampson scored for Atikokan.
In the ‘B’ final, the Voyageurs did all their scoring in the second period before hanging on for a 3-2 win over the Leafs.
Sampson scored twice, including the game-winner, while Kyler Gannon added the other for Atikokan.
Woods and Connor Scholfield replied for the Leafs, who had finished the round-robin in third place with a 3-2 mark.
Holmlund’s got off to a rough start to the round-robin, following up their loss to the K-9s by getting clobbered 7-0 by Lake of the Woods.
But the dawning of Saturday shed light on a new-look Leafs’ squad, who started the day with a 5-2 win over Emo.
Chase Flinders collected a pair of goals for Holmlund’s while Dylan Woolsey, Dayton Labbe, and James Gushulak added singles.
Deidrick Smith netted both goals for the Express.
Holmlund’s then kept rolling with a 3-1 victory over Atikokan. Gushulak led the way with a pair of goals while Woolsey notched the other one.
In a game which wound up determining who would make it into the ‘B’ final, Holmlund’s closed the round-robin by downing Canadian Tire 3-1.
Woods, Scholfield, and Anthony Gill-Roisin scored for the Leafs while Bruyere replied for Canadian Tire.
The loss dropped Canadian Tire into the ‘C’ final, where they beat the Express 3-1.
Nick Wepruk netted a pair of goals for the victors, including the game-winner 28 seconds into the third, while Brandon Kocuiba added a single.
Gareth Dunn cashed in Emo’s only goal.
The win was a repeat of the tournament-opening game for both teams, which ended in a 7-3 win for Canadian Tire.
Six different players helped Canadian Tire’s cause in the goal department, with Kieraen Weir scoring twice while Logan Ballard, Kenton Bowles, Bruyere, Damon Nyberg, and Kocuiba had the others.
Dakota Medicine, Smith, and Raven Kakegamic bulged the twine for Emo.
Canadian Tire then fell 5-3 to the Voyageurs.
Gannon and Sampson each picked up a pair of goals for Atikokan while Jackson Geurts supplied the other marker.
Bruyere, Wepruk, and Sheldon Kelly scored for Canadian Tire.
Following the loss to the K-9s, Canadian Tire was blown out 8-0 by Lake of the Woods.
The home team had a difficult time in their own rink, finishing the round-robin at 0-5 before losing the ‘C’ final.
The EDBMHA will host its annual PeeWee ‘A’ tournament this weekend, with play beginning Friday.