Marlborough, MA (March 9, 2017)- Austin Lemieux scored a hat trick and Lucas Michaud tallied three assists to lead the Islanders Hockey Club to a 4-1 victory over the Junior Bruins in the deciding game of the 2017 USPHL Dineen Cup Championship Series.
Lemieux started the scoring off eleven minutes into the game when he fired a shot through traffic that eluded Bruins goaltender Elijah Harris. Michaud was credited with the assist.
With 5:21 on the clock, Austin Goldstein sent the puck to Michaud near the bottom of the circle. Michaud then fired a pass across the slot to Lemieux, who fired it home to make it 2-0.
When the second period began, the Bruins wasted little time in cutting the lead in half, as Dallas Farrell scored from Guus van Nes to put the Bruins on the board just 45 seconds into the frame.
Harris and Islanders goaltender Justin Ferguson kept the teams at bay for most of the period, but with 1:19 on the clock, Michaud and Liam Darcy set up Austin Lemieux at the bottom of the left circle, and Lemieux completed the hat trick.
“We expected a grind, there was no way the Junior Bruins would hand the trophy to us,” noted Lemieux. “The team came out strong in both games and we were fortunate to get in front early. None of us wanted the series to go to three games.”
Mike Falanga rounded out the scoring 5:21 into the third period when Jack Moran and Jake McKenelly sent him streaming down the left wing. Harris overcommitted, and Falanga wrapped around the net and slid the puck in.
Harris finished the game with 41 saves while Ferguson turned away 28 shots in the win.
“We knew the Bruins would give us a very difficult series,” said Ferguson. “They have a great forecheck, power play, penalty kill…Coach [Tremblay] devised a system, we all stuck to it, and it worked out.”
“These guys deserve [the Dineen Cup],” said Islanders head coach Sean Tremblay. “It’s a real credit to my staff for recruiting these guys; not just great hockey players, but great people as well. Everybody led in their own way, and it’s great to see them celebrate.”
The win gives the Islanders Hockey Club their first Dineen Cup title in their second championship series in as many years.
Congratulations to the Islanders Hockey Club and the Junior Bruins on their excellent seasons.