In a game where neither team could get a cushion, the Granite City Lumberjacks escaped with a 4-2 victory over the North Iowa Bulls.
No lead was more than two goals during the contest, and the winning goal was scored by Aidan Verbeke at 13:36 of the second period.
Granite City evened the best of three series at 1-1 and forced a deciding game three.
The Lumberjacks were led by Verbeke, who tallied one goal.
Granite City\’s penalty kill was spotless, allowing no goals on five North Iowa power plays.
Others who scored for Granite City included Luke Richardson, Roy Grandov, and Taylor Brown, who each put in one. Other players who recorded assists for Granite City were Brett Love, who had two and Brady Bernhardson, Gavin Porter, Drew Otto, and Christian Mohs, who each chipped in one.
North Iowa put up an impenetrable defensive front on the penalty kill, and did not allow the Lumberjacks to score on any of their seven power plays. Granite City was unable to stop the Bulls from sending pucks towards the net, and North Iowa eventually piled up 32 shots on goal.
The Bulls were helped by Matt Kroska, who had one goal. Kroska scored 5:15 into the second period to make the score 2-1 North Iowa. Rihards Marenis provided the assist. North Iowa also got a goal from Sam Naegele as well. More assists for North Iowa came via Austin Jackson, who had one.
The Lumberjacks\’ Scott Murray stopped 30 shots out of the 32 that he faced. Granite City incurred 16 minutes in penalty time with eight minors. Chris Amsden made 22 saves for North Iowa on 26 shots. The Bulls incurred 22 minutes in penalty time with 11 minors.