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Photo courtesy of SportDad Photography
The Guelph Gryphons are headed back to the Baggataway Cup championship game after edging the Brock Badgers 13-12 in the semifinals on Saturday November 8.
Brett Ulbikas scored two goals in the final 3:10 to give the Guelph Gryphons a 13-12 win over the Brock Badgers in the Baggatway Cup semifinals Saturday, giving Guelph a chance to defend the title they won in 2013 in a rematch of last year's final against the McGill Redmen.
The game was close throughout, with neither team taking more than a two-goal lead. Mike Burke led the way for Guelph with five goals while Curtis Knight contributed three goals and three assists. Kyle Davis had a hat trick to lead Brock. Nicholas Wordtmann had a standout performance on defence for Guelph, checking Brock's regular season leading scorer Greg Davidson all game and keeping him off the score sheet. Discipline was a key factor: Guelph didn't take a single penalty in the game while Brock took eight minutes in penalties leading to three Guelph power play goals.
The score was tied 3-3 after the first quarter. Brock used a three-goal run in the second to take an 8-6 lead into the half. Knight started the scoring in the third quarter, zipping down the alley to elude a check and rifle home a low shot. Travis Arch replied for the Badgers. Ryan Serville scored a man up goal with 7:26 to play in the quarter and Burke connected less than a minute later to make the score 9-9, which held up through the end of the period.
Burke gave Guelph their first lead since the second quarter when he scored 1:08 into the fourth. When Davis tied it up at 3:04, Burke responded 46 seconds later to put Guelph back on top. Brandon Slade tied it up for Brock on a beautiful solo effort. Slade reversed direction twice behind the net, making a sharp cut to get a step on his man, then darted out front and tucked in a short-angle shot.
When Mark Vradenburg fired home his second goal of the game before the midway mark of the quarter, Brock had a lead that they would hold for over seven minutes. But then Ulbikas came to life. Having been quiet all day, Ulbikas created a pair of chances for himself with quick moves cutting down the alley and buried both shots 64 seconds apart for the game-tying and game-winning goals.
Guelph goalie Michael Lalani made three huge saves in the final two minutes to preserve the win for the Gryphons.?
Guelph, once again entering the Baggataway Cup as the third seed from the West Division, will head to Sunday's final to face McGill, whom they beat 14-11 in last year's title game behind five goals from Ulbikas and an eight-point game from Serville. That game can be viewed via W88free live webcast presented by JVI Sports Network at 1:25 pm.