Dudley-Hewitt Cup field set as Minnesota Wilderness crowned SIJHL champions



Release date: Monday, April 22, 2013
Photo Credit: Lucas Punkari, Fort Frances Times

Dudley-Hewitt Cup field set as Wilderness crowned SIJHL champions

FORT FRANCES, Ont. – A Jeremy Johnson unassisted goal 1:43 into the second overtime period lifted the Minnesota Wilderness to a 3-2 victory over the Fort Frances Lakers in game 6 of the Superior International Junior Hockey League’s Bill Salonen Cup final at ’52 Canadians Arena at the Memorial Sports Centre in Fort Frances.

With the triumph the Wilderness win the Bill Salonen Cup in six games coming away victorious with their third consecutive SIJHL championship.

They now advance to next week’s Dudley-Hewitt Cup in North Bay joining the host North Bay Trappers, the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League represenative Soo Thunderbirds along with the title holders of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, the St. Michael’s Buzzers in the event that goes April 30-May 4 at North Bay Memorial Gardens.

Each side found the back of the net in the opening period with Nick McCormack scoring at 8:06 while Kevin Kurm connected on the power play with 79 seconds to go in the session.

The Lakers took the lead at the four-minute mark of the middle frame as Owen Stauber struck during a man advantage opportunity to put the home side up 2-1 after 40 minutes.

With the two sides playing four skaters aside the Wilderness forced extra time as Joseph Drapluk stuffed in the equalizer with 8:55 to go in regulation past Lakers’ netminder Talor Joseph.

After a scoreless 10-minute OT the Wilderness won it early in the second extra period as Johnson stripped the puck off a Fort Frances defender from behind the net and quickly deposited the championship winning tally past a surprised Joseph to end the series.

Shots on goal favoured the visitors by a 40-31 margin.

SIJHL Bill Salonen Cup results
Game 1: Wilderness 5 Lakers 1
Game 2: Lakers 2 Wilderness 1 (OT)
Game 3: Wilderness 4 Lakers 1
Game 4: Wilderness 5 Lakers 3
Game 5: Lakers 3 Wilderness 1
Game 6: Wilderness 3 Lakers 2 (OT)

Dudley-Hewitt Cup
April 30 – May 4
North Bay Memorial Gardens

Competing teams
North Bay Trappers
NOJHL: Soo Thunderbirds
OJHL: St. Michael’s Buzzers
SIJHL: Minnesota Wilderness

April 30

St. Michael’s vs. Soo 2:30 p.m.
Minnesota vs. North Bay 7 p.m.
May 1
Soo vs. Minnesota 2:30 p.m.
St. Michael’s vs. North Bay 7 p.m.
May 2
Minnesota vs. St. Michael’s 2:30 p.m.
North Bay vs. Soo 7 p.m.
May 3
2nd round robin vs. 3rd round robin 7 p.m.
May 4
Final: 1st round robin vs. Semifinal winner 7 p.m.

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