Lumber Kings' drive for RBC Cup ends in overtime

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:53 AM ET

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. -- It wasn't exactly the Ottawa Senators against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

But the Aurora Tigers and Pembroke Lumber Kings put on a great show yesterday at the RBC Royal Bank Cup as representatives of the two regions.

Daniel Michalsky scored 2:21 into overtime to give the Tigers a 3-2 win over their Ontario rivals in the semi-final of the Junior A hockey national championship.

The Tigers advanced to tonight's nationally broadcast final against either the host Prince George Spruce Kings or the Camrose Kodiaks. They met in the other semi-final last night.

"I just went to the net and the puck popped right onto my stick," Michalsky said. "I'm not going to lie, I wasn't really aiming. I just knew to go five-hole and it went in."

Michalsky pounced on a juicy rebound and slid a shot through Lumber Kings goaltender Paul Beckwith. It was the first game of the tournament to go into overtime.

"It was a hard-fought battle, they played us incredibly tough," said Tigers coach Jerome Dupont, a former NHLer. "But we stayed the course and we were able to get the overtime winner.

''Daniel Michalsky has had an incredible tournament and he made another incredible play to win it."

The Lumber Kings return home knowing they played arguably their best game of the tourney, but still fell short to their rivals from the Toronto suburb.

"I thought we deserved a better result, no question," said Lumber Kings coach Sheldon Keefe, also a former NHLer. "I thought we really took it to them in the third period and we had more than a few glorious chances to take advantage of.

"Our guys battled real hard. I thought that was our best game of the tournament."

Tigers forward Colin Williams opened the scoring in the first period, converting a feed from Michael Ward.

Jeremy Lapierre responded late in the period with a seeing-eye point shot that caught the bottom corner.

GOALIE SURPRISED

In the second, Matt Rhymer gave the Lumber Kings the lead on another point shot that surprised Tigers goaltender Tyler Gordon.

Before the end of the period, Mark Thorburn tied it for the Tigers on the power play after Pembroke was assessed a goaltender interference penalty.

"I really didn't see the play," Keefe said. "But my disappointment was in the fact the referee didn't see the play either. He just caught the tail end of the play and saw the goalie go down.''

The Lumber Kings carried the majority of the play in the third. Forward Brandon Richardson had the best chance to break the deadlock when he cut to the net and had Gordon down and out, but couldn't lift the puck over the goaltender.

Aurora's best chances came in the last minute as they swarmed the Lumber Kings net, but couldn't bury it.

"It's a tough loss," said Beckwith, whose club beat Aurora 4-3 in the round-robin. "We went out there, put out our best effort, but we just couldn't get it done."


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