Daily Herald Staff
The Shellbrook Elks are provincial champions after disposing of the Rosetown Red Wings 5-2 before a standing-room only crowd on Friday at the Shellbrook Arena.
The Elks, who won the best-of-five championship series in four games, will now face the Manitoba champions at the end of March in their next step towards claiming an Allan Cup title.
Friday's game didn't start out the way Shellbrook had envisioned as the Red Wings stormed out of the gate and scored twice in the first 10 minutes.
The Elks responded, however, with Prince Albert product Chris Thompson and Derek Keller pulling Shellbrook even before the first intermission.
After a scoreless middle frame, the Elks dominated the final 20 minutes with Thompson, Brendan Turner and Patrick Cey tallying to put the game out of reach.
Brenden Cuthbert was strong in the Shellbrook net stopping 31 blasts while David Spooner was tested 31 times in the Rosetown goal.
In addition to Thompson, the Shellbrook line-up also featured Tommy Brown, Josh Peterson and Korey Diehl from Prince Albert while the Rosetown roster had back-up goaltender Kelly Guard.
The Elks, who will play the entire best-of-five against the Manitoba champions in the Winnipeg area and will move on to the Allan Cup tournament in Dundas, Ont., with a win, are also in a battle in the Fort Carlton Hockey League playoffs as they trail Bruno two games to one with the fourth match set for Monday in Bruno. Should the Elks win that game a fifth…