Snipers lose final in OT

Joey Payeur

One shot away from a gold medal, the Fort Frances Snipers ended up absorbing the last bullet.
Luke Krause stunned the home crowd with the game-winner at 4:53 of overtime to give the Baudette Bears a 3-2 victory over the host Snipers in the gold-medal game of a six-team Atom ‘AA’ hockey tournament yesterday at the ’52 Canadians Arena.
Krause, who set up the Bears’ second goal in the second period, connected for the visitors with an unassisted tally in a game where the Snipers twice battled back from one-goal deficits.
Gabriel Johnson and Jackson Arpin had the other markers for Baudette.
Eric Pitkanen and Kendyn Faragher replied for Fort Frances, which struggled to a 1-2 record in the preliminary round but then pulled off a shocker in the semi-finals to advance to the title game.
The Snipers dropped their opener 2-1 to the Thunder Bay Elks 82s, with James Gushulak netting the lone goal for Fort Frances.
Trevor McRae and Noah Francis, with what turned out to be the game-winner in the second period, tallied for Thunder Bay.
Gushulak provided more spark for the Snipers in their second outing—bulging the twine for a pair of markers in a 6-2 hammering of the Sioux Lookout Sioux.
Ethan Carlson-Jourdain also had two goals while Ian Tookenay and Pitkanen chipped in singles for Fort Frances, which scored four unanswered goals to bust open a 2-2 tie in the second period.
Baudette dropped a hint of foreshadowing when it doubled the Snipers 4-2 in the final preliminary game for both squads.
The Bears, who racked up the game’s final three markers, got goals from Arpin, Krause, Shane Birkeland, and Johnson.
Carlson-Jourdain and Tookenay replied for Fort Frances.
Facing large odds in the semi-finals against the unbeaten Current River Comets, the Snipers pulled off the upset with a 3-2 overtime triumph to knock the Comets into the ‘B’ final.
Pitkanen provided the heroics by firing the game-winner at 4:03 of the extra session. He also had an assist on Carlson-Jourdain’s second-period marker.
Nicholas Hahkala had the other goal for Fort Frances, which let a 2-0 lead slip away when Current River rallied back on tallies by Richard Crupi and Jayden Mrakic.
Current River captured the ‘B’ final with a 2-1 win in a shootout over the Elks 82s while the Dryden Paper Kings beat Sioux Lookout 6-2 in the ‘C’ final.