VIRGINIA, Minn. – Cochrance Crunch netminder Brett Young stood tall stopping all 36 shots he faced to blank the Fort Frances Lakers 2-0 in Day 2 play of the Superior International Junior Hockey League Showcase at Cuppoletti Arena in the Miners Memorial Building in Virginia, Minn.
The contest featuring two Top 10 clubs in the 131-team Canadian Junior Hockey League saw both goaltenders shine in the opening stanza as Young made 15 saves for the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League side while Pierce Dushenko handled all 11 attempts fired his way in the Fort Frances goal.
The respective win leaders in each of the their leagues, Young in the NOJHL and Dushenko in the SIJHL, continued their solid play keeping opposing shooters at bay through a scoreless through the first half of the contest.
Cochrane would get on the board first breaking out of their own zone on a two on one with Seamus Maguire feeding the NOJHL’s leading goal getter and point producer Hunter Atchison, who drove in and snapped a high shot short side past Dushenko at 18:20.
Coming right back, the Crunch capitalized on a defensive turnover that went right to the stick of Maguire who ripped it from the right circle as he too went high, short side on the Fort Frances goalkeeper just 17 seconds later for an unassisted effort.
That would be it in turns of scoring the rest of the way as Young backstopped the Cochrane to the shutout victory over the SIJHL-leading Lakers.
Gongshow Gear player of the game honours went to Young for the Crunch and Fort Frances defenceman Nick Minerva.
Next up at the SIJHL Showcase has the Thunder Bay North Stars Dryden GM Ice Dogs at 4 p.m. before the day concludes with the Iron Rangers tangling with the English River Miners at 7:30 p.m.
The contests between SIJHL clubs count towards the league standings while the two Cochrane match-ups were exhibition games.
Each SIJHL game, including the Showcase, is available online, on a pay-per-view basis, at FASTHockey.com.
All start times CT
Tuesday, Jan. 26
Fort Frances 3 Thunder Bay 2 (Shootout)
Cochrane (NOJHL) 2 Minnesota 1 (OT)
Wednesday, Jan. 27
Cochrane (NOJHL) 2 Fort Frances 0
Dryden vs. Thunder Bay 4 p.m. (Miners Memorial – Virginia)
English River vs. Minnesota 7:30 p.m. (Miners Memorial – Virginia)
Thursday, Jan. 28
Fort Frances vs. English River 3 p.m. (Hoyt Lakes)
Minnesota vs. Dryden 7 p.m. (Hoyt Lakes)