The St. Paul Canadiens got goals from Kurtis Labant, Isaak Watters, and Zandro Luck-Palliotto while Bradley Mistol held down the fort to defeat the Killam Wheat Kings 3-2 in a pivotal Game 3 on the road Monday night.
The Canadiens now lead the NEAJBHL semi-final series 2-1 after a win in Game 1 by the same 3-2 score, and another one-goal game 6-5 in Game 2 that went Killam’s way.
“I loved our game tonight,” said Coach Shawn Germain in the postgame.
“I thought from the opening puck drop, we really did the things that we needed to. Got in on the forecheck. I thought our back pressure from the neutral zone was really good. I thought our D-core played really well tonight, got their feet moving forward, and really [we did] all the adjustments we wanted to make coming into Game 3.”
After hopping out to an early 2-1 after the first period, the game was one-sided with the Canadiens controlling the action in the Wheat Kings zone for the majority of the second period — but they couldn’t break the game open. Ty Marcinkowski held Killam in it, while the Canadiens limited the opponent’s shots to just seven after 40 minutes of play.
However, the ice tilted in the final 10 minutes of regulation, where the Wheat Kings found the equalizer and were threatening to take the lead. Veteran netminder Brad Mistol made timely saves, which allowed Luck-Palliotto to score with just a couple minutes left in regulation for the pivotal Game 3 win.
“He made some huge ones for us. That’s why getting Brad back was so huge for us. He’s been in that situation before,” said Germain. “Definitely some areas we want to clean up in the third. We knew they were going to push back, they’re a great team. But Brad was huge for us.”
The series resumes on Wednesday night in Killam for Game 4. The Canadiens will host Game 5 on Friday night at the Clancy Richard Arena. Puck drop is 8:00pm.
Vermilion comes back, but loses in OT
The Vermilion Tigers scored two goals in 14 seconds down the stretch in the 3rd period, after already coming back from a three-goal deficit to force overtime in Game 2 of their semifinal series against the Wainwright Bisons.
However, it was not meant to be. Ryder Kenyon scored the winner, his fourth marker of the game, a little over 5 minutes into overtime and Wainwright took a 2-0 edge in the series.
Vermilion is set to host Game 3 and Game 4 Thursday and Saturday to try and claw back in the series.