(By Scott Unger)
The Bentley Generals defeated the local South East Prairie Thunder 4-3 in double overtime in the gold medal game of the 2009 Smitty’s Allan Cup.
Diarmuid Kelly was the overtime hero for the Generals, which was the only undefeated team in the tournament with a 4-0 record. Ryan Manitowich, with two goals, and Kent Beagle also scored for Bentley in the goal medal game. Goaltender Cody Rudkowsky stopped 42 of the 45 shots fired his way.
Brent Zelenewich was the player of the game for South East after making 56 saves in the loss. Ryan Smith, Matt Ulwelling and Tim Skarperud were the goal scorers for the Prairie Thunder.
In the semifinal, Bentley hammered the Thunder Bay Twins 8-1, while South East doubled the host Steinbach North Stars 4-2. It was just the second victory for the Prairie Thunder over Steinbach in six tries this season.
The quarter-final round saw Thunder Bay shock the Lloydminster Border Kings 3-2 in overtime. Ian Staal was the OT hero. Steinbach easily defeated the Dundas Real McCoys 8-4.
South East, Lloydminster and Dundas each went 1-1 in the round robin in Pool A. South East won the pool based on the goal differential tie-breaker.
Bentley zipped through Pool B with a 2-0 record. Steinbach was second at 1-1 and Thunder Bay went 2-0.
There was a five-way tie for the tournament scoring lead. Ryan Smith (South East), Don Morrison (Bentley), Kevin Vandewater (South East), Kurt Bensmiller (Bentley) and Theoren Fleury (Steinbach) all had seven points during the week.
Rudkowsky was the top goaltender with a 1.65 goals-against average.
Next year’s Allan Cup is in Fort St. John, B.C.