Photo credit Gordon Lee, Victoria
VICTORIA – Huskies striker Elvir Gigolaj (London, Ont.) would be the game’s hero, as his two overtime goals helped the Saint Mary’s Huskies to a 2-0 win over the Alberta Golden Bears in the first semifinal of the day.
Goalkeepers Jay Vetsch, of Alberta, and Adam Miller, of Saint Mary’s, quarterbacked their respective backfield to keep the first half shots on goal to a minimum.
Huskies midfielder and Rookie Olivier Chenard (Halifax, N.S.) created a promising chance after a 22 minute lull of activity, when his cross from the left was nicely placed in the six-yard-box for Ian Coke, of Bermuda, but that shot was blocked by the Alberta defence.
In the 40th minute, the right foot of Milan Timotijevic (Calgary, Alta.) drilled a free kick from 40 yards out just over the cross bar to tip the opportunity scale slightly in Alberta’s favour.
As the half time buzzer neared, action increased with Saint Mary’s players filling the Alberta six-yard-box, earning two worthy chances but defender Osmo Bimba (Edmonton, Alta.) cleaned up to keep the game 0-0 at the break.
In the second half, Huskies Coke opened with a brilliant run and strike, in the 47th minute, from the right side but his shot was low and into the side of the netting.
A rush of Alberta opportunities occurred in the 55th minute, including a very close chance for Bimba, which was blocked well by Huskies defender Chris MacEachern (Halifax, N.S.). In the same minute, Gilroy launched a rocket towards goal from 25 yards out forcing a spectacular, outstretched save from Miller.
In the 74th minute, Huskies striker Gigolaj had the best chance in regulation time, heading a ball on target from the top of the 18-yard-box. A combination of the cross bar and the tips of Vetsch’s fingers managed to keep Gigolaj’s shot out of the net.
In the 103rd minute, Gigolaj lifted the Huskies 1-0 over the Golden bears with a great strike into the top of the mesh from in tight. Gigolaj secure the lead in the 111th minute after eliminating the back two Huskie defenders, forcing Vetsch way off his line, and calmly chipping it over and into the the net.
Gigolaj’s two goals would push the Huskies into the 2011 CIS national championship finals, on Nov. 13, against the winner of the Victoria and Cape Breton game.
SMU 0-0-2-0: 2
ALB 0-0-0-0: 0
Extra Time (2 x 15 mins; no golden goal)
1. SMU Elvir Gigolaj (2) (unassisted) 103rd
2. SMU Elvir Gigolaj (3) (unassisted) 111th
SMU: Adam Miller (W, 0GA, SO, 8 saves, 120:00, 2-0)
ALB: Jay Vetsch (L, 2GA, 8 saves, 120:00, 1-1)
Shots: SMU 15 ALB 21
Shots on net: SMU 10 ALB 8
Corners: SMU 6 ALB 8
Offsides: SMU 3 ALB 0
ALB (Brett Colvin 59th, Jay Vetsch) SMU (Zach Bauld, 92nd, Rory Kennedy 101st)
Players of the game:
SMU: #10 Elvir Gigolaj
ALB: #24 Tyrin Hutchings
SCHEDULE & RESULTS (All times local: PACIFIC TIME)
Thursday, Nov. 10¨
11:00 Quarter-final 1: Saint Mary’s 2 McGill 1
13:30 Quarter-final 2: Alberta 2 Toronto 1
16:30 Quarter-final 3: Cape Breton 2 McMaster 1 (ET)
19:00 Quarter-final 4: Victoria 3 Montreal 2 (4-2 K)
Friday, Nov. 11
11:00 Consolation 1: McGill 1 Toronto 0
13:30 Consolation 2: McMaster 2 Montreal 1 (5-4 K)
16:30 Semifinal 1: Saint Mary’s 2 Alberta 0 (ET)
19:00 Semifinal 2: Cape Breton vs. Victoria (SSN Canada webcast)
Saturday, Nov. 12
14:30 5th-place game: McGill vs McMaster (SSN Canada webcast)
Sunday, Nov. 13
11:30 Bronze medal (SSN Canada webcast)
14:00 Championship final (SSN Canadawebcast)
NOTE 1: SHAW TV will broadcast the final on tape delay in
the Greater Victoria market.
NOTE 2: Live stats available for all games through championship website.