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U18s Defeat Top Ranked Team at West Regionals

The U18 Thunder Bay Kings finished their season this past weekend in Winnipeg at the Telus Cup Western Regional.


Game 1 saw the Kings take on the host Winnipeg Wild.   Down 1-0 after the first period, a lapse in concentration saw them give up 4 more goals to trail 5-0.  In a show of true character they continued to fight and with a couple of late 2nd period goals from Matthew Lysak, the first resulting from an outstanding individual effort from Emerson De Giacomo, with Grady Holden picking up the other assist, and the second a power play goal with assists from Mitch Vanderwey and Peter Forester, the Kings cut the deficit to 3.  A goal early in the 3rd from Mitch Vanderwey assisted by De Giacomo and a late goal from Matthew Lysak, assisted by De Giacomo and Jordan Fanti brought the Kings to within one.  Unfortunately, the buzzer went just before Lysak would have added his fourth goal seeing the Kings fall 5-4.


Game 2 saw the Kings playing the #4 ranked team in the country, the Saskatoon Blades.   Penalty problems and an excellent Blades power play saw the Kings give up 3 early power play goals in a 6-0 loss.


Game 3 brought the #1 team in the country, the Brandon Wheat Kings, who had not suffered a loss in regulation the entire season.   The Kings started off well with two early goals, the first from a point shot from Lucas Bailey, assisted by Vanderwey and Lysak and Daniel Lombardo adding the second with assists from Cole Piccinin and De Giacomo.  A Brandon power play goal and then another late goal saw the teams go into the intermission all tied up.  The Kings came out in the second like they did in the first with a goal from Griffin McGraw, assisted by Jordan Fanti and Eric Blazino followed by a Gord Hawkins effort assisted by Vanderwey and Bailey.  An early third period Brandon goal ensured a tight finish until Ben Exell scored an empty net goal to seal an outstanding victory.  Kayo Lake stopped 33 Brandon shots in a fine goaltending display.

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