Habs take Round 1

Rupp records first post-season shut out

The St. Paul Canadiens have advanced to the second round after an 8-0 victory over the Onion Lake Border Chiefs on Saturday night. The Canadiens will face Frog Lake in the next round.

Game five between the Canadiens and Border Chiefs was kicked off by a goal only 3:01 into the first period. The goal scorer, 15 year old Canadiens affiliate Kurtis Labant, rushed in off a scramble draw by Ryley Wozniak and tucked it in past Border Chiefs goaltender Roddy Ross.

“Guys came in, collapsed, puck ended up down deep, and Labant took a nice shot and we got the lead.” Ryley Wozniak said of the goal.

The Canadiens would add another goal with just under seven minutes to play in the first off the stick of Bonnyville Pontiacs affiliate Brayden Goulet. On the Goulet goal, Jareh Gray picked up his first of four assists on the night.

Things got a little bit rough at the end of the first, as time was expiring, a hit from behind sparked a melee in the Border Chiefs end. Eight minutes worth of roughing after whistle penalties were handed out and split between Onion Lake and St. Paul. Also during the melee, Cam Smyl and Isiah Bellegarde separated from the pack to drop the gloves. Cam Smyl scored the takedown firing up the home crowd.  Smyl and Bellegarde were given five for fighting, and a game misconduct each.

The second period was a reoccurrence of names on the score sheet. The Canadiens added three more goals to lead 5-0 after two frames. Labant and Goulet added one more each, while Dyson Roy picked up the fourth goal of the game. The scoresheet was a bit less crowded with penalties, as Onion Lake picked up four minutes of slashing penalties, and St. Paul picked up a charging minor.

In the third, the St. Paul Canadiens put the Border Chiefs to bed. Brayden Burak notched a goal only a minute in. Ryan Rancier added another goal with 9:43 to go in the third period. Things got rough from there, as Neufeld for Onion Lake and Niebrandt for St. Paul began a laundry list of penalties to end the game by each taking a slashing minor. As the game drew to a close, Onion Lake was assessed four game misconducts. Bryce Neufeld, Justice Gardypie, Grant Whitstone, and Greg Cameron were all given the boot in the late happenings. Two minutes remained on the scoreboard when Kurtis Labant completed a memorable night, picking up his hat-trick goal from Zach Bendall and Jared Malo.

Canadiens goaltender David Rupp stopped all 18 shots he faced for the shutout. Border Chiefs goalie Roddy Ross had a busy night with 57 shots thrown his way.


“Kurtis Labant played a great game for us. He’s just starting to get his feet wet with us, and he’s going to be with us the rest of the year. You don’t expect a 15 year old to score a hat-trick in the playoffs.” St. Paul Canadiens Head Coach Joe Young praised the efforts of Labant.

Coach Young also thought the power play had a strong night. “We moved the puck around well. We finally got to the net and got some traffic.”

The St. Paul Canadiens advanced to the second round with the 8-0 win. The Canadiens will play the Frog Lake T-Birds beginning Wednesday, March 1st  at Clancy Richard Arena. Game time is 8 p.m.