Late-Game Spark Pushes Iroquois Past USA In Semifinals

Photo Courtesy of WILC                                                                                                                                      

The Iroquois Nationals (4-1) defeated the USA (3-3) 9-7 in a very tight semifinal matchup to advance to the semifinals where they will face the winner of Canada vs England. USA will play the loser of that second semifinal game in the fourth place game. 

In the beginning, neither team was able to get an edge as both goaltenders and defenses as a whole stood tall, not allowing many clean looks. The flipped switched for USA late in the third and Iroquois was able to follow suit. A three-goal run in the fourth helped Iroquois get ahead and ultimately secure the win.

After some very heavy defensive play to start the game, Randy Staats got Iroquois on the board with 7:21 in the first. USA followed with a goal from Kieran McArdle just minutes later. The first ended with things tied at one after both defenses stepping up and not allowing the opposing offense to get much going, especially on the inside. 

In the second, Tehoka Nanticoke scored early on for Iroquois and Joe Resetarits score for USA early. However, that was all either offensive would see for the rest of the quarter as the defensive battle ensued. Both teams did have plenty of opportunities, including a few good looks in the final minutes of the half, neither side was able to convert. 

Midway through the third USA got their offense rolling with two consecutive goals from Connor Kelly and Joe Resetarits, putting USA up 4-2. After both teams trading goals midway through the quarter, Iroquois went on a two-goal run late in the third with Tehoka Nanticoke and Miles Thompson each finding the back of the net. 

With Matt Rambo scoring off an outside rip late in the third gave USA a 6-5 lead and plenty of momentum heading into the fourth, but the Iroquois had different plans as they went on a three-goal run early in the fourth to take back the lead and seemingly suck all the energy out of the USA. Adam Bomberry, Kyle Jackson, and Cody Jamieson all scored during that Iroquois lead. 

Gale Thorpe scored a power-play goal for USA to cut the Iroquois lead to 8-7 late in the game, but USA wasn’t able to capitalize on any other opportunities they had in the final minutes. Jordan Durston put in the dagger with an Iroquois goal in the final minutes to secure the 9-7 win. 

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