It was a perfect timing for Fort Garry/Fort Rouge Twins defenceman Lucien Joyal to find the back of the net for the first time in the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League playoffs on Tuesday night.
Joyal got the game-winning goal at 6:18 of the third period to lift the Twins to a 4-3 win over the Charleswood Hawks at Eric Coy Arena.
With the win the Twins staved off elimination and forced Game 6, which will be played on Friday at the St. James Civic Centre. The Hawks lead the best-of-seven series 3-2.
"It was huge, GWG, so no complaints there," laughed Joyal, one of six Twins players in their final season. "Mitchy (Keith Mitchell) just put it right in the slot there and I was able to just rifle it. He put it right in my wheelhouse so it was an easy play."
The Hawks are looking for their fourth straight Jack McKenzie Trophy. The series is a rematch of last year’s finalists. The Hawks, who beat the Twins 9-1 in Game 4, have won eight of the past 10 MMJHL titles.
"We came out with our best game today, that was pretty close to the best we’ve played so far in this series so it was good to get that one, especially after laying an egg in the last one, that’s for sure," Joyal said.
In the final two minutes the Hawks had scoring chances from Jesse Brolly, Nic Demski and Sean Kubas. Kubas had assists on all three Hawks goals.
The Hawks, who trailed 1-0 and 3-2 at the period breaks, tied the score 3-3 at 3:15 ofthe third period when David Taylor put a screen shot past Twins goalie Charlie Pogue.
Charleswood captain Dillon Smith got his team on the board just 1:39 into the second period tying the score 1-1 with slapshot on the power play. Midway through the period, Fort Garry forward Patrick Sheldon backhanded in his own rebound followed just over two minutes later by forward Matt Geddes who deked through Hawks’ defenders to flip his shot past Hawks’ goalie Lucas Felbel for a 3-1 lead.
With 4:27 left in the second, the Hawks were able to get back within one when Brody Warren scored his third goal of the playoffs.