Wolf Pack put bite on Steelers' playoff run

In most David and Goliath analogies, the giant bites the dirt in a big way.

It doesn’t always work out in the real world, however.

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The Grandview Steelers gave it a mighty try, but the North Van Wolf Pack demonstrated why they were the top dog entering the Pacific Junior B Hockey League playoffs.

The Pack slipped past Grandview 1-0 on Saturday, ending their best-of-seven series four games to one.

But the Steelers made them work for it.

“I’m extremely proud of how the guys worked and played (against North Van),” remarked Grandview coach Stevan Matic. “We were a little unfortunate because both games 3 and 5 could of gone either way, and we felt we deserved a better fate.”

The squad generated enough offensive chances in both games to come out ahead, he said, but just were either foiled by the Wolf Pack netminder, or just missed burying the puck.

“The guys dug in and did what they had to do, we just couldn’t get that key goal when we needed.”

After staving off elimination last Thursday with a impressive 4-1 victory in North Van, the underdog Steelers had a successful blueprint in which to model their next must-win effort.

Putting it into operation, they benefitted from stellar netminding from Cale Dolan, the 19-year-old backstop who kicked out 45 shots.

Unfortunately, the Steelers were hamstrung by Wolf Pack goalie Niklas Hoeme, who stopped 28 shots for the shutout.

“(North Van) has a lot of speed, and they have some very good offensive players,” noted Matic. “We suffered a bad break when defenceman Brett Cox got injured (early in the series), because he plays a big role for us.

“We were able to contain them at times but were unable to get that first goal (Saturday).”

In the Steelers’ lone win, Mateo Coltellaro cashed in a pair, including the game opener at 3:40 of the first, with singles by Jarod Yau and Tomislav Zlomislic, with a shorthanded tally.

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