By Bill Burfoot
Photo courtesy of the St. James Canucks
The St. James Canucks picked up their third overtime win of the postseason on Wednesday night, opening up the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League final with a 4-3 win over the Pembina Valley Twisters.
John McCammon scored his second goal of the game midway through the first overtime to lift the Canucks to their fourth consecutive win and more importantly a 1-0 lead in the MMJHL final. St. James battled back from a 3-games-to-1 deficit in their semi-final series against the Transcona Railer Express to reach the finals.
The Twisters, who’ve had a week off since defeating the Stonewall Jets in six games in their semi-final series, fell behind early in Game 1 as the Canucks lit the lamp twice in the first period to go up 2-0 on goals from McCammon and Tristan Ezako.
Brendan Keck would get Pembina Valley on the board five minutes into the middle frame with his third of the playoffs - and second in as many games to cut the lead in half but Tyler Meixner would reply for the Canucks with his ninth of the playoffs on the power play to regain their two-goal lead. Meixner has tallied six goals in his past four games.
Pembina Valley once again got within one before the second period would run out as Braeden Beernaerts capitalized on a Twisters power play to cut the lead to 3-2 after two.
Early in the third period Pembina Valley’s power play would strike once again early on a goal from Jeremie Goderis to knot things up at three and send things to the extra frame before McCammon’s overtime winner lifted the Canucks to a 4-3 win and 1-0 series lead.
The clubs will now get a couple days off to prepare before renewing aquaintances on Saturday night for Game 2 as the series shifts to the St. James Civic Centre. Puck drop is set for 7:30 PM.