Flying Fins advance to intramural hockey finals

jay.tomlinson and jay.tomlinson

After posting a pair of second period goals, the Flying Fins held on for a 2-1 victory over the Drillers on Monday night’s semi-final of the NMU Intramural Ice Hockey Tournament. With the win, the Fins clinch a spot in the finals of the double elimination tournament.

The Flying Fins came out strong in the first period, controlling the majority of the play. They pounded shot after shot, keeping the puck in The Drillers’ end for most of the first period. Goalie Addison Davenport, a freshman at NMU who ended the game with 15 saves, stood tall in the net and the period ended scoreless.

The Drillers struck first when junior Jim Benson set up junior Jason Chamberlain perfectly to score within the first minute of the second period.

“I couldn’t have made that shot without Jim, he put it right on the doorstep,” Chamberlain said.

The momentum of The Drillers was quickly shot down after the Fins answered with a goal right from the face off. The Fins held on to the upper-hand, scoring again and ending the period up 2-1.

Down a goal late, the Drillers nearly squared the contest with many chances towards the end of the game, including a break away with just seconds left which was interrupted by a hooking penalty.

“We played alright I thought. We had our chances but we just couldn’t convert,” Chamberlain said.

As the game neared its conclusion, the play became a little more physical and the tension rose between both teams with three penalties for each side. But the Fins kept coming at The Drillers, who said they just tired out.

“We came out in the first two periods, strong. We lost that energy in the third. We had our opportunities but we just didn’t finish,” Benson said.

Both teams came into the game undefeated with records of 3-0. The Drillers had a strong season, beating teams that were comprised of former players from Marquette’s very own “The Electricians,” the popular favorite in the tournament.

The Fins quickly established a strong reputation, however, and are marching their way to the finals.

“We knew we had to step it up. Those guys were good,” Benson said.

The game ensured The Fins a spot in the tournament finals and, as per the double elimination rules, their opponent must win back-to-back finals games to secure a title. Jimmy Johns will play Cheese in the loser’s bracket final on Wednesday, April 18 at 10 p.m. The winner of that game will go on to play The Drillers, and the advancing team will face The Flying Fins in the championship.