The Pembroke Lumber Kings dropped a 5-3 decision to the two-time RBC champion Vernon Vipers on Thursday to close out round-robin play at the National Junior A Championship, but came out on top of a three-team tiebreaker to become the third seed in the four-team playoff on Saturday.
The Lumber Kings, Portage Terriers and Wellington Dukes all finished with identical 1-3 records, but the goal differential among the teams worked out in favour of the Lumber Kings and the Dukes, who squeaked into the semifinals after topping the Terriers 6-3 for their only win of the tournament Thursday afternoon.
The Vipers, 4-0, are the first-ranked team and will play the Dukes at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Edgeworth Centre. The host Kodiaks, 3-1, will tangle with the Pembroke Lumber Kings at 6 p.m. Camrose beat Pembroke 4-2 on Wednesday night.
The final will be played at 6 p.m. Sunday and also be broadcast on TSN.
The Vipers have only lost one game in the RBC during the last three years. That was a round-robin game to the host Dauphin Kings in last year’s event.