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  • Wednesday, May 24, 2000

    COLTS 3, Ice 2, 2-OT

    Colts win Memorial Cup marathon

  • Summary

    By JON COOK -- SLAM! Sports

     HALIFAX -- With both the Kootenay Ice and Barrie Colts looking for their first win of the 2000 Memorial Cup, someone had to go home disappointed.

     Mike Henderson's shot from the blueline at 5:34 of the second overtime period clinched a spot in Saturday's semi-final for the Colts and sent the Ice home with the first winless record by a Western Hockey League champion since the tournament changed to the round robin format in 1972.

     At 85 minutes, 34 seconds it was the longest game in Memorial Cup history, outlasting the previous record of 84:16 established in a round robin contest between the Kitchener Rangers and Oshawa Generals in 1990. Last year the Belleville Bulls needed 83 minutes and 16 seconds to dispatch the Ottawa '67s.

     "I was just really happy (after the goal), but I was so tired that I just wanted to lie down on the ice and go to sleep," said Henderson, who scored two game-winners for the Colts in the OHL playoffs. "I'm just really happy for the team and the guys, we had a lot of heart and I'm looking forward to Saturday."

     After the four teams combined for close to 15 power plays in each of the first four games, the two most physical teams in the tournament decided to settle things on the ice instead of in the penalty box. Both the Ice and the Colts combined to draw just five minor penalties in the game.

     "I just think it's accountability and hopefully it's a team that's acclimating itself to the surroundings," said Colts' coach Bill Stewart about his team's disciplined effort against the Ice. "It was nice to see the referee let the two teams compete at a very high level and it was just very gratifying to see two teams play the game the way it should be."

     Colts' goalie Brian Finley, who had been pulled in each of his first two starts against Halifax and Rimouski, finally displayed the form that made him the Nashville Predators' sixth overall pick in last year's NHL draft. The Colts' OHL playoff MVP stopped 56 shots to record his first Memorial Cup victory.

     "It was definitely big," said Finley, "it gave us some confidence back at a key time, especially now going into the semis."

     Finley single-handedly kept the Colts in the game in the first overtime, stopping 17 Ice shots including some great saves off sniper Mike Green and Brad Tutschek.

     "I think Barrie likes to do things the hard way," said Henderson "I think that's the way we have fun."

     Ice rookie netminder Dan Blackburn was equally sharp for the Ice, turning aside 41 Colts' shots. The 17-year-old made a spectacular stop in close on Matt Dzieduszycki in the third to send the game into extra time.

     "We're dealing with it, I mean we can't do anything about it at this point - the game's over and so is our season," said Blackburn, who was the first rookie to be named MVP of the WHL playoffs. "We know we had a good year, we had to play really well to get here and that's an accomplishment in itself and I think we can take that away from this experience."

     Kootenay opened the scoring with its first power play goal of the tournament when Jason Jaffray netted the rebound off a shot by Jarret Stoll with Colts' forward Blaine Down in the box.

     Denis Shvidki pulled Barrie even when his centering pass from behind the Ice net hit defenceman Tim Arsene's skate and bounced in behind Blackburn.

     The teams traded goals in the second period, as Ice winger Graham Belak scored on a wrist shot on a nifty move in front of Finley at 1:59 mark. The Colts replied less than two minutes later, when Ryan Barnes tied the score with his second goal of the tournament on a rebound off Down's shot from in close.

     The Colts will now prepare to meet the loser of tonight's game between the undefeated Mooseheads and Oceanic in the semi-final and try to become the first team to ever win the national junior championship after going 1-2 in round robin play.

     "We gave ourselves another chance to prove what we can do as a hockey club," said Stewart after the game. "We've done it four times this year (faced elimination and won) and we're back at it on Saturday and we'll just see how good we are again."

    Summary

    Colts 3, Ice 2 (2OT)
    HALIFAX (CP) -- Memorial Cup Wednesday night:
    First Period
    1. Kootenay, Jaffray (Stoll, Fischer) 5:23 (pp)
    2. Barrie, Shvidki, 8:36
    Penalties -- Down Bar (inteference) 4:04, 
    Arsene Koo (hooking) 11:49.
    Second Period
    3. Kootenay, Belak (Tutschek, Burt) 1:59
    4. Barrie (Down, Henrich) 3:47
    Penalties -- 
    Robinson Bar (interference) 9:52, 
    Belak Koo (hooking) 14:33.
    Third Period
    No scoring.
    Penalty -- Fischer Koo (hooking) 1:37.
    First Overtime
    No scoring.
    Penalties -- None.
    Second Overtime
    5. Barrie, Henderson, 5:34.
    Penalties -- None.
    Shots on goal by
    Kootenay	13	10	14	17	4--58
    Barrie	12	8	10	10	4--44
    Goal -- Kootenay: 
    Blackburn (L,0-3); Barrie: Finley (W,1-2). 
    Power plays (goals-chances) -- 
    Kootenay 1-2; Barrie 0-3. 
    Referees -- Eric Charron. 
    Linesmen -- Sylvain Cloutier, Claude Girard.
    Attendance -- 9,877.
    




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