Working overtime has paid huge dividends for the North Delta Devils.
A pair of extra time wins in less than 24 hours on home ice has the Pacific International Junior Hockey League team enjoying a 3-1 series lead in their best-of-seven quarterfinal series.
North Delta upended the Delta Ice Hawks 2-1 Friday night at the Sungod Arena, then won again Saturday with a 5-4 victory. The third place team in the Tom Shaw Conference, the Devils can complete an upset of the second-place Ice Hawks by winning one of the next three games, the first of which is tonight (Tuesday) on the Ice Hawks’ home ice at the Ladner Leisure Centre.
The two rivals have now played three consecutive overtime contests.
Delta won the first, a 3-2 victory last Wednesday night in Ladner.
Goalie Harry Fredeman almost stole a win for the Devils, facing an incredible 71 shots before the Ice Hawks eked out the win. The 20-year-old Fredeman, a Ladner resident, earned his second first-star honour in as many nights.
Despite getting outshot 23-10 in the opening frame, the Devils led 1-0 on the goal from Adam Nishi.
The Ice Hawks went up 2-1 after 40 minutes, with Anthony Brito and Ryan Cuthbert scoring.
Delta continued to attack the North Delta net, and after 60 minutes, had outshot their guests 63-27. But a 21-save performance by Fredeman in the third period, and a goal from Manuveer Mahil with 12 minutes to play, forced overtime.
Alex Martin of the Ice Hawks notched the winner on a powerplay, six minutes into extra time.
Fredeman was the second star in Friday’s win at Sungod, making 37 saves.
North Delta outshot the Ice Hawks 20-7 in the first period, and led 1-0 on a goal from Nishi.
But again the Ice Hawks took over the run of the play, but with a 28-10 shots on goal advantage, could only score once. Cody Fidget netted a powerplay goal midway through the second period.
Darren Asuncion notched the winner with an unassisted effort 10 minutes into extra time.
Delta fired 47 shots at the Devils goal Saturday night, but again lost.
After Asuncion staked the home side to a 1-0 lead after five minutes of play, the Ice Hawks surged in front 3-1 midway through the contest.
Delta rallied, with Stefan Burzan scoring late in the second, then Jacob Wensley and Sam Vikich netting goals for a 4-3 lead with five minutes to play.
Delta forced overtime with a powerplay goal, but lost when Colin Catchpole scored for the Devils five minutes into overtime.
Should the Ice Hawks stave off elimination tonight, game six is set for tomorrow (Wednesday) at 7 p.m. at the Sungod Arena.