Sabres go up 2-0 on Flyers

Mitch Calvert

They were two very different games, but the only thing that matters for the Fort Frances Jr. Sabres is that they came out with two wins.
The Sabres opened their best-of-five quarter-final series with the Sioux Lookout Flyers by claiming 7-0 and 2-1 victories here Friday and Saturday night to take a commanding 2-0 lead.
Dan Usiski scored twice and added an assist in Friday’s romp while Brendan Baumgartner, Kyle Turgeon, Colin Moberly, Logan McDonell, and Ryan Witherspoon added singles.
Ryan Faragher recorded 18 saves for the shutout.
Saturday night’s game, on the other hand, featured little flow with lots of penalties—and the Sabres clung to a slim 1-0 lead on a goal by Graham Dyck late in the first period.
Former Sabre Adam Wensley tied it early in the third, then the visitors pushed for the lead with several more scoring chances until Mitch Cain took the wind out of their sails with the game-winner just past the midway point of the final frame.
“You could tell we needed something to get going, and some guys started throwing hits,” Cain said of the third period.
“I got the chance to walk out in the slot and just fired it on net, and luckily it hit the twine.”
Flyers’ coach Randy Lulashuyk said his team will need a similar effort tomorrow night in Sioux Lookout to try to get back in the series.
“Sometimes you can lay it all on the line and not get the result, but you have to be willing to do it again the next night because it doesn’t matter what happened [Saturday], that’s over,” Lulashuyk stressed.
“We don’t want to change anything,” he added. “We want to make sure we are taking away time and space, and be that physical presence in both ends.
“It’s playoff time, we’re not looking to do anything fancy but just go to the net.”
Cain, meanwhile, said the Sabres will need to play within themselves and not worry about the after-whistle activities to put the final nail in the coffin tomorrow night.
“I think their main goal is to try to get under our skin, so as long as we keep our heads and play our game, I think we’ll be set [tomorrow],” he remarked.
“You just got to keep working hard and make sure you don’t get sucked into that.”
Game 4, if necessary, would be played Wednesday night in Ignace.
Should the Flyers push the series to the limit, Game 5 would be played here Friday night (March 20).
Meanwhile, the Schreiber Diesels are up 2-0 on the Dryden Ice Dogs in their quarter-final series and can wrap it up with a road victory Thursday.
The SIJHL’s top two teams—the Fort William North Stars and Thunder Bay Bearcats—have first-round byes.