Canadiens win two straight to finish series
The series between the Canadiens and T-Birds began the March schedule in the NEAJBHL Playoffs. Both teams had just come off impressive series wins in the opening round. It was a match-up of second and third place in the league standings.
Game one saw everything that could be thrown on net, thrown on net. Both Vinck and Kwiatkowski were stellar throughout the game. Vinck would be beat six times in the game, and St. Paul would win 6-2. Morgan Greve had a three point night to lift the Canadiens to the victory.
Game two saw both teams pile up the shots on goal again. Kwiatkowski would be even more stellar in net for the Canadiens stopping 36 shots out of 37 directed his way. St. Paul would score four goals en route to a second straight victory. Zach Sylvestre tallied two points in the game.
The series shifted to Frog Lake for game three. 15 seconds out of the gate, Dallas Desjarlais would bust down the right side wing, and snipe one past Kwiatkowsi to open the scoring. Frog Lake would score another three goals in the period to chase Kwiatkowski heading into the second period. The T-Birds would ride the hot start to a 6-1 victory. Desjarlais turned in a four point night.
With the series 2-1, game four was going to be a big test for both teams. St. Paul and Frog Lake would trade goals in the first period. David Rupp had an outstanding second period stopping a hard pressuring T-Birds offense. The third period would see an interesting anomaly. Brandon Cunningham got hauled down on a partial break and was awarded a penalty shot. He would be stopped and the game would remain 1-1. The powerplay clicked for a second time in the game for the T-Birds just under three minutes into the third. Michael Cardinal scored the goal and the T-Birds evened up the series.
Canadiens’ offense returns
For game five the series shifted back to St. Paul. The Canadiens offense returned to form. Roddy MacDougall had a game. The hat-trick hero lifted St. Paul to a 5-2 victory. Kwiatkowski was back in net for the Habs. Cam Smyl picked up his second fighting major in six games.
Game six saw the series back in Frog Lake. St. Paul was looking for a series clinching victory. The game would start out exactly the way the Canadiens coaching staff hoped it would. The Canadiens scored three straight to begin the game, and they would lead 3-1 heading into the intermission. Frog Lake would make it interesting less than 10 minutes into the second. Dallas Desjarlais scored the goal in his final game in the NEAJBHL. St. Paul would add two more in the period, and carry a 5-2 to the third. Roddy MacDougal would score his second for St. Paul’s sixth goal of the night. The story for the T-Birds was long time NEAJBHL star Dallas Desjarlais ending his career by lighting the lamp like he did over his five years in the league.
The Canadiens would carry their lead in game six to a 6-3 final. The series would end 4-2 in favour of St. Paul.
“It doesn’t really matter to us (who we play). You’re going to play two good teams that got there for a reason. We aren’t picking and choosing who we want to play. We’re just excited that we’re there.” Coach Joe Young said on the Cornerstone Co-op Post Game show following the series win.
The Next Opponent
They now await the Wainwright Bisons who wrapped up their series against Killam last night. It will be a match-up of first and second in the league for the championship. Both teams will advance to Provincials, which will be held in St. Paul March 30-April 2.