KINGS OFF TO CHAMPIONSHIP GAME AFTER TOPPING ICE WOLVES, AGAIN
DAUPHIN, Man. – The clock has struck midnight for the 2010 RBC Cup’s Cinderella team.
Dauphin captain Steven Shamanski scored twice and added an assist as the Kings ended La Ronge’s dream season with a 6-2 victory in Saturday night’s semifinal at the National Junior A Championship, advancing to Sunday’s final against the Vernon Vipers (2 p.m. CT, TSN2).
The Ice Wolves were the seventh seed entering the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoffs before going on an unexpected run to the league title, earning a berth to the national championship when the host Kings won the Manitoba title.
Dauphin and La Ronge met seven times beginning April 16, with the Ice Wolves winning the first game before dropping the next six, including a 3-2 round-robin loss to the Kings on Tuesday and Saturday’s semi.
The Kings came out with the jump, outshooting La Ronge 15-7 in the first period, but only Bryce Lamb could beat Joel Danyluk. Lamb took a pass from Shamanski in the slot and snapped a quick shot past the blocker of the Ice Wolves netminder.
Angus Klassen doubled the lead four minutes into the second period, speeding past a La Ronge defender and roofing a shot over Danyluk’s glove, and Shamanski made it 3-0 nine minutes later, slipping a slot through the five-hole.
But the pesky Ice Wolves would not go away, and goals from Aaron Enns and Ben Findlay made it a one-goal game at 3-2 heading to the final 20 minutes.
Zeanan Ziemer slowed the La Ronge momentum by gathering a bounce off the end boards and beating Danyluk at 6:35 before Mitch Czibere put the game officially out of reach with a power play goal four minutes later.
Shamanski’s second of the game, into an empty net, rounded out the scoring with 1:14 to go, delighting the crowd of 2,247 who turned out to cheer on the home side.
The Kings will have a chance on Sunday to become the first host team since Weyburn in 2005 to win the national championship, and the first hosts since Halifax in 2002 to do it undefeated.