Arron Gagne scored a hat trick and the St. Paul Canadiens took advantage of two 5 on 3 power plays in the second period en route to a 7-3 victory against the Cold Lake Ice Friday night.
The win created more separation between the two clubs, who entered the game only two points apart, 5th (St. Paul) and 6th (Cold Lake) respectively.
“The one thing about playing Cold Lake is you have to play 60 minutes because they don’t stop playing,” said Canadiens coach Joe Young after the win.
“We had a couple times when we took our foot off the pedal and paid the price…I thought our guys had to battle all night to get this win.
“Our power play has been clicking at a high rate all year, and I like our chances when teams start taking penalties against us.”
The Canadiens showed no signs of rust from the Christmas break and got to work on the forecheck. Isaac Larocque-Wall deflected the hard pass from Arron Gagne for the game’s first goal, and Gagne scored seven minutes later.
“I was just trying to get to a good spot on the ice for a good position to s ire, and just found the back of the net,” said Larocque-Wall about the goal.
The power play went to work after the Ice cut the lead in half. Alex Astasiewicz scored a gorgeous rushing goal, then Gagne’s net front position (a la Ryan Smyth) tallied his second goal in that fasion.
Dyson Roy tapped in a one timer in close to make it 5-1, but the Ice were not buried.
Devon McCormack and Maeson Stabbler seized some momentum back heading into the third frame. But the final period resembled more of the first, where Cold Lake struggled to get the puck out of their zone.
Zach Bendall broke the Ice’s back midway through the third with an unassisted tally, and Gagne netted his hat-trick goal to finish the game 7-3.
“I really like how we we’ve been playing of late. You kind of hated to see the Christmas break come when it did because we were playing so well, but it’s nice to see us keep it going,” said Young.
The Canadiens scored seven goals against Frog Lake T-Birds on the road Saturday night, for a decisive 7-1 win.
Cold Lake Ice coach Scott Hood
After losing against St. Paul on Saturday, the T-Birds doubled up the Lloyd Bandits 6-3.