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Two quick goals in third leads Vikings into SWOSSAA finals
andrew brethauer march 2nd, 2011


The Northern Vikings scored two in the third period against the Chatham Kent Hawks to win their SWOSSAA semi-finals match up 4-3 at the Clearwater Arena Wednesday afternoon.

Northern started the game off killing a powerplay, but were able to keep the puck deep in the Hawks zone, getting more opportunities then the Hawks. DJ Sapone had two chances from the point, but the Hawks goaltender, Devon Cove came up with two glove saves.

The Hawks would get their own chance as Dylan Bell came in on a breakaway, but his shot was put wide, but the Vikings took a penalty on the play. On the ensuing powerplay Derek Daly jammed at the puck at the side of the net while Northern goalie Brandon Johnson hugged the post. But Daly got the puck up and over Johnson's shoulder and the Hawks took a 1-0 lead.

The Vikings would come back and get their own chances as Joel Vanvellar wasn't able to get a shot away in the slot fast enough, and Cove made the kick save. Northern would get its own chance on the powerplay and Jace Felton would send snap shot on net that was deflected by Brandon Burr into the net to tie the game at 1-1.

Bell would have another chance for the Hawks with a wide open net, but his shot would go wide. That would prove costly as Adam Lane would send a wrist shot from the point that would beat a screened Cove and put the Vikings up 2-1. But the lead did not last long as Alec Miller would pop in another goal for the Hawks and the first period would end tied 2-2.

In the second, the Hawks would start with two penalties, one being a ten minute major. Despite the advantage and the action in the Hawks zone, the Vikings could not put it passed Cove. Again it would be costly as Chatham would put two hard shots on net, with the second shot rebounding out onto the stick of Drew Medd who stood with a wide open net and shot it passed Johnson to restore the Hawks lead, 3-2.

Johnson would redeem himself with a huge save on Bowe Shepley beside the night, as the Vikings went into the intermission down 3-2.

Coming back out for the third, the Hawks almost made it a two goal game as a shot beats Johnson, but can't beat the inside of the post, as the puck manages to stay out. Not being able to put the puck away on good scoring chances would again cost a team in this game as Ryan Dayman from the corner would find Elliott Pecora in the slot who lets a quick shot go that beat Cove high to tie the game at 3-3.

Under two minutes later with a scramble in front of the net, Cove would try to play the puck but Dayman would beat him to it, and circle the net, spotting Pecora again out front for his second of the game to put the Vikings back in front 4-3.

Northern would continue to put the pressure on the Hawks in the third, and despite a late penalty by the Vikings, and an empty net by the Hawks, the Vikings managed to keep the puck out of their zone long enough to let the clock tick down and take the 4-3 victory.

"Our boys really came out to play in the third period," said head coach Joe Bronzi after the game. "We didn't really know what to expect from Chatham-Kent, we were trying to get our bearings in the first couple of periods."

But as Bronzi said afterwards, the Vikings stuck to their game play and how they have played all season long. "Just simple basic hockey," Bronzi said about his game plan. "Get the pucks in deep, get the feel of the game first, get shots to the net."

Bronzi insisted his team stick to the game plan after the second intermission, which results in the Vikings coming back and scoring two to take the victory.

The Vikings will host the SWOSSAA finals next Wednesday against a team from the Windsor area.


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