Triple overtime winner decides series
The NEAJBHL Championship took a week to decide. Thursday through Thursday, the Wainwright Bisons and St. Paul Canadiens played four games. Wainwright had home ice advantage in the series and used it to kick start their series victory.
Game one opened the series on an uneasy note for the Canadiens. They dropped an 8-2 final in Wainwright and found themselves down in the series.
The second game of the series was another tough one for the Canadiens. The team played a lot better offensively and defensively, but a five minute major and a lethal Bisons powerplay put the Canadiens to bed. The final score was 5-2.They wrapped up the opening two games of the series in Wainwright down 0-2.
Canadiens feel deja vu
The series shifted back to St. Paul for game three. Canadiens fans came out to support their boys, and hopefully rally them back into the series. The game was a lot closer, but the Canadiens were once more assessed a five minute major and the Bisons powerplay got it done. An empty netter put the game to bed for a 7-4 final. The Bisons had a 3-0 series lead heading home on that Tuesday night.
A finish unlike any other
Game four couldn’t have been written better if Hollywood had the script. It’s not often you see overtime in a Junior B game, and even more rare to see it in a deciding game. The Bisons scored a goal in the first period. They held the lead until the third. Kona Jackson scored to tie it in the third, and the Clancy Richard Arena went nuts. Things were dulled quite a bit when the Bisons scored with two minutes left in the game. St. Paul was not done yet. Kona Jackson netted another one seconds later to once again tie it.
Overtime was necessary in game four. The first overtime was 10 minutes, and saw fast paced action back and forth. Neither team could out play the other, so we headed for double overtime.
The pace of play slowed in double overtime. That did not mean things got less interesting. Both teams continued to trade chances, but Rupp and Spencer were not ready to give in. Things remained 2-2 at the buzzer.
Canadiens and Bisons go on and on
Triple overtime in St. Paul began thirty minutes before midnight. Again, both teams worked tirelessly to try and end the game. Maybe that’s where this article should step aside, and let you watch how things played out:
Chandler Klein’s goal cemented the Bisons NEAJBHL Championship.
“We really showed our character of this hockey club tonight. It will do nothing but good things going into provincial championships next week. When you play in the tournament format… a game like this will give us a ton of confidence.” Coach Joe Young said.
Both teams head to provincials next week. There will be no long bus ride, or any ride for that matter for the St. Paul Canadiens. The Canadiens are hosting the Alberta Junior B Provincials from March 30 – April 2.