Just one win away.
Sioux CIty Musketeers forward Dylan James scored the game-winning goal with 3 minutes, 33 seconds left to win Game 3 of the United States Hockey League Clark Cup Final, 3-2, over the Madison Capitols on Friday in Middleton, Wisconsin.
“It was a huge goal at a huge moment,” Musketeers coach Luke Strand said. “I thought that line did a good job of putting in the work and that opportunity came to his stick. I don’t know if we did enough early, and after Ben’s goal and James’ second goal, we just put more bodies in the net.”
James’ goal came on the backdoor as he attacked the Madison net. James got the rebound after a deflection, and settled the puck down before shooting the game-winner.
“I don’t think we played our best game in the first or second period, but we had some pushes, and that helped our momentum,” James said. “We knew we had to be better. It was a matter of just doing it.”
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James also scored in the first period, as he scored at the 4:11 mark of the first period.
Madison bounced back to score two straight goals after James’ first goal.
Ben Doran tied the game late in the second period. That goal happened at the 16-minute, 26-second mark.
Doran passed the puck to Dylan Gratton out by the blue line, and Gratton took the puck across the blue line over to Luke Antonacci.
Antonacci shot the puck from the blue line, but it went off Madison goaltender Simon Latkoczy. Doran was near the net to grab the deflection, and shot it into the net to tie the game.
“As the game wore on, we got back to that,” Strand said.
Alex Tracy was 31-for-33 in save opportunities.
Game 4 is at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in Middleton.
The Musketeers are going into Saturday’s game with a ‘don’t get ahead of yourself’ mindset.
“We talk about it like reading a book,” Strand said. “We have to read the first page, and that’s the first period. We have to get through the first chapter. We can all close our eyes and see the end, but we have to earn a lot to get to that end.”