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Portage Lake Flyers 14U AA win league playoffs

CALUMET — The Portage Lake Flyers 14U AA hockey team, sponsored by G&J Site Solutions, won the NIHL playoff tournament this past weekend by defeating the Iron Mountain Iron Kings, 3-0, Sunday afternoon at the Calumet Colosseum.

With the win, the Flyers improved to 43-14-4 on the season.

With the teams tied at 0 after one period, the Flyers decided to come out strong in the second period, and their hard work paid off quickly.

Rudy Bekkala found the back of the net just 3:25 into the middle frame when he pounced on a rebound off a shot from Dominick Pizzi. Milo Schaefer picked up the second assist on the tally.

The game remained 1-0 until the Flyers were awarded a power play late in the third. Kyle Mikkola found Dane Johnson with a cross-ice pass at the top of the circle and Johnson buried a shot behind Iron Kings goaltender Keegan Bogetto with 1:30 left.

Just 24 seconds later, Todd Anderson jumped all over the Iron Kings’ defense, creating a turnover. He grabbed the puck and moved it over to Kyle Maki, who beat Bogetto from the right circle, sealing the victory for the Flyers.

Flyers goaltender Matthew Ryynanen stood his ground throughout the contest, making 31 saves en route to his ninth shutout of the season.

Bogetto made 36 saves on 39 Flyers’ shots.

To reach the championship, the Flyers defeated the Calumet Jr. Kings, 7-5, and the Marquette American Legion, 3-1, in round robin play. The Flyers lost to the Iron Kings, 3-1, but the two wins were enough to cement a trip to the title game.

The Flyers are back in action for a pair of games this weekend against the Lakeland Hawks from Minocqua, Wisconsin, at Dee Stadium as they close out their season.

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