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Wilderness blank Buzzers at Dudley-Hewitt Cup in North Bay

Photo by Chris Dawson

NORTH BAY - Minnesota Wilderness (SIJHL) goaltender Gordy Defiel registered his second consecutive shutout stopping all 36 shots fired his way leading his team to a 3-0 victory over the previously unbeaten St. Michael's Buzzers (OJHL) Thursday afternoon at the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Junior championship at North Bay Memorial Gardens.

Following a 30-minute delay to the start of the game after a pane of glass was shattered in the warm-up, the Superior International Junior Hockey League champion Wilderness struck for the only tally in the opening 20 minutes as forward Dylan Haskins snapped a quick shot low under the outstretched pad of St. Michael's starter Adrian Ignagni 8:41 into the contest.

Looking to add to their lead early in the middle stanza, Minnesota had a partial break two-man break while shorthanded only to have Ignangni stymie Jeremy Johnson from the left of the crease.

St. Michael's had a good opportunity of their own, midway through the period, only to have Gordy Defiel thwart Shane Conacher with a poke-check.

The Buzzers continued to press for the equalizer, but a couple of big saves by Defiel kept the game scoreless after 40 minutes.

An early man advantage opportunity in the third allowed the Wilderness to go up a pair as Jordan Shockley's harmless looking shot found its way past a screened Buzzers' goalkeeper who came in contact with Johnson, outside of the crease, just as the puck slid into the net.

Moments after Mitch Marner rang a shot off the crossbar for the OJHL side the SIJHLers countered as Johnson redirected a point shot through a crowd and in to add some insurance and round out the scoring.

Earning player of the game accolades in the contest was Defiel and Ignangni of St. Michael's, who faced 38 shots overall.

With the result the Wilderness improve to 2-1 and have guaranteed themselves at least a semifinal berth.

With the loss, St. Michael's slipped to 2-1 having already secured a playoff bid.

This now sets up a pivotal final round robin contest tonight as the host North Bay Trappers (1-1) meet NOJHL rival Soo Thunderbirds (0-2) at 7 p.m. in a must-win game for both teams with the loser of the match-up being eliminated from further play while also determining the final standings among all four competing teams. (See below)

Warmington's OT winner sends Thunderbirds to Dudley-Hewitt semifinal

NORTH BAY - Former Thunder Bay North Stars forward Brandon Warmington's goal 9:11 into the overtime lifted the Soo Thunderbirds to a dramatic 4-3 victory over the host North Bay Trappers Thursday evening in the final round robin game at the 2013 Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Junior A championship at Memorial Gardens.

With the win the Thunderbirds (1-2) now advance to Friday's semifinal at 7 p.m. against the second place St. Michael's Buzzers (2-1) while the setback thus ends the Trappers season, despite a furious third period comeback that saw them rally from three goals down to force OT.

The Minnesota Wilderness (2-1) (SIJHL) earned a spot directly to Saturday's title game after earning the first place tiebreaker over St. Michael's by winning the head-to-head match-up against the two sides, earlier in a day, by a 3-0 score.