By PATRICK SLACK
Defending North American Tier III Hockey League champion Granite City entered its match-up with the Minnesota Flying Aces junior hockey team once again leading the West Division, Nov. 24.
After enduring a 14-5 shot differential that favored the Aces in a scoreless first period, the host Lumberjacks showed why by taking control in the second, netting three goals around a Michael Holthaus score to build a 3-1 edge into the final period.
However, Andre Pison cut the gap to one just 36 seconds into the third, then the Aces cashed in on a power-play opportunity with 7:45 remaining, with Patrick Kegley tallying the game-tying goal.
The score remained tied at 3-3 at the end of regulation, before Jared Sprink delivered the game-winning goal 48 seconds into overtime to give the Aces a 4-3 victory.
It was only the third loss of the season for the 17-3-1 Lumberjacks.
North Iowa 5, Flying Aces 2
The night before, visiting North Iowa recorded the final three goals to break a 2-2 deadlock and earn a 5-2 victory over Minnesota, Nov. 23.
After the Bulls took a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period, Brett Sorem and Payton Trammel scored goals for the Aces to even the score.
But a pair of goals in the final minute of the second proved too much to rebound from, with the Bulls tacking on an insurance goal late in the third.