It was do or die for the Kootenay Ice on Tuesday night. A loss and they would go home in fourth place in the Memorial Cup. A victory, and they would play a tie breaker versus the loser of the Owen Sound vs Mississauga game to be played Wednesday. A victory for St John however, would give the Sea Dogs a bye into the Championship game.
Kootenay would come out strong in the opening period, however neither team would score. The Ice managed 12 shots on Mathieu Corbeil who got the start for St John, while the Sea Dogs managed just 6 on Nathan Lieuwen.
Ryan Tesink would get St John on the board 1:26 into the second period when he took a pass in front and fired a perfect shot top shelf. Just over 4 minutes later Tomas Jurco who broke arounf the Ice defence and popped a back hand over a sprawled Corbiel.
Kootenay would come back however when Drew Czerwonka scored on a wrap around on the power play to cut the lead in half. Less than two minutes later, and on a two man advantage, Kevin King would tie it up with a perfect tip on a point shot.
Just 23 seconds into the third Kootenay would take their first lead of the game. Jesse Ismond was in the right place at the right time firing a rebound into a wide open cage. Kevin Gagne would tie it once again at the 2:10 mark when he was sent down the slot untouched by Jonathan Huberdeau and fired a perfect wrister.
Matt Fraser would give the Ice the lead once again finishing off a beautiful passing play for a 4-3 lead. However, Tomas Jurco would play hero once again tying the game with just 15 seconds remaining when the puck bounced off of his head and into the net sending the game to overtime.
Matt Fraser would end it at 3:55 into overtime on yet another controversial goal. Just as the Sea Dogs goal against the Majors was offside, the Ice's game winner was also offside. Max Reinhart had brought the puck back into the offensive zone and the linesman just plain missed it.
Now, there are those that insist that it makes no difference to St John as they advance even with the loss, but Kootenay's win now forces either Owen Sound or Mississauga to play a tie breaker against the Ice on Thursday night. And while it may not matter to St John, it is blatanly unfair to either the Majors or the Attack. These are calls the on ice officials simply have to get right.