ROMEOVILLE, Ill. – And then there were two.
The Metro Jets will play for the NA3HL Silver Cup championship Sunday against the North Iowa Bulls after an exciting 5-4 win Saturday night in the semifinals over the Great Falls Americans at Canlan Ice Sports.
North Iowa bounced the Twin City Steel with a 4-3 overtime win earlier Saturday.
“It's all about character and just comes down to finding an excuse to win,” Metro forward Jacob Gleason said. “Everyone contributed tonight and it was a team win. Tomorrow, we know what is at stake, we know who we are playing and we’ll be ready to go.”
After a scoreless first period, Great Falls took a 2-0 lead early in the second before Gleason scored shorthanded and Robby Flannery and Cam Schwartz followed to send the game into the second intermission with a 3-2 Jets lead.
Great Falls tied it early in the third and it stayed that way until Metro captain Matt Dempsey made it 4-3 midway through the period.
Mathias Tellstrom potted an empty-netter and Great Falls made it interesting with an extra-attacker goal in the final minute, but could not find the equalizer.
“So proud of the guys to gut this one out,” Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville said. “It was a great playoff game and dramatic on every level. Even though we controlled the play for the majority of the game, they got a couple breaks and got up on us in the second. Our guys responded well and stayed the course and battled through together. We got a big goal from ‘Gleas’ that gave us a big jump on them again. Everyone pitched in tonight and we will take the short rest and get ready for the goal we set forth all year.
“It comes down to this last game, and the greatest opportunity that there is.”
Jets goaltender Kam Limburg finished with 23 saves, while Great Falls goalie (and former Jet) Jake Stephan made 31 stops.
Sunday’s title game gets underway at 2 p.m. EST and will be streamed on www.fasthockey.com.