In their final home game of the season the Mason City Toros defeated the Granite City Lumberjacks, 3-1, in Game 2 of the West Division Finals on Saturday afternoon at the Mason City Arena.
Facing elimination after dropping Game 1 on the road Friday, the Toros scored twice in the third and added an empty netter late in the third to force Game 3 on Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Armadillo Deck Sports Arena.
Erik Chaffe stopped 35-of-36 shots, including making 15 saves in the third period, to pick up the victory in net. He became the only goaltender to defeat the Lumberjacks multiple times after previously shutting them out on March 5 with a 37-save shutout.
Luke Robertson and Ethan Peterson scored in the second period after a scoreless first to give Mason City an early lead. The Toros outshot the Lumberjacks, 26-20, in the first two periods but Granite City dominated possession in the third and outshot the Toros, 16-3. Chaffe stood strong, including denying a shorthanded breakaway with just over 12 minutes remaining in regulation.
Mason City made one of its three shots in the period count as Shota Kaneko added an empty-net goal with 1:11 remaining.
The Toros travel to Granite City for Game 3 on Sunday. A win moves Mason City on to next week’s Fraser Cup Championship Tournament while a loss ends the season. Granite City qualifies with a win or a loss and two losses by the North East Generals in the East Division Finals.