Steelers cornered by Wolf Pack in semifinal series

Doing a Davey-and-Goliath once is rare. When expected to pull it off for a second straight time, that’s another thing.

The Grandview Steelers have their backs to the wall entering tonight’s (Thursday) Game 4 of their best-of-seven semifinal series with the North Van Wolf Pack, trailing 3-0 in the Pacific Junior B Hockey League playoffs.

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The game goes 8:15 p.m. at the Harry Jerome Rec Centre in North Vancouver.

What Grandview accomplished in the quarterfinals – beating Richmond three times in the shadow of YVR – looks rustic when compared to the current challenge. In the rustic Jerome, the Wolf Pack are a perfect 4-0 so far in the playoffs, after posting an 18-4 home ice record en route to a league-best 34-9-0-1 mark.

On Wednesday, North Van picked up its third win, downing the Steelers 4-3 at the Burnaby Winter Club.

The hosts scored first, when Mateo Coltellaro scored just 2:51 into the contest, cashing in a powerplay opportunity. But the Wolf Pack countered with two tallies of their own, by Jacob Callas and Dominic Davis, in the span of 1:30 midway through the frame.

They’d up their lead just 1:16 into the second period on a goal from Lucas Barker.

Grandview worked hard to stay in the game, closing within a goal on Coltellaro’s second powerplay marker of the night, but less than three minutes later Jacob Fournier restored North Van’s two-goal lead.

Coltellaro completed the extra-man hat trick late in the period, but that was all for the offence.

The Wolf Pack’s Spencer Eschyschyn turned back 27 shots to register the win.

It was the first time the Steelers had out-shot North Van during the series, with the previous two games going 4-1 and 4-2.

Although Grandview scored the first goal of the series off the stick of Maximilian Corazza, they’ve spent much of the three games trailing.

Davis tallied twice in Game 1 for the Wolf, while Lucas Barker netted the game-winning goal in the second period on the powerplay. Cale Dolan kept the Burnaby team within sniping distance, turning aside 39 shots.

Keeping North Van off the powerplay was one assignment the underdogs did in Game 2, when the two teams were tied after 20 minutes.

But the Wolf Pack got a pair of goals midway through the second period, 13 seconds apart, to grab a 3-1 advantage. Jarold Yau and Tomislav Zlomislic supplied the Steelers goals.

A fifth game, if necessary, would go March 9 in North Van.

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