After two games at Provnicials, the Lakeland Heat sat 1-1 going into their late night match-up against the Olds Mavericks. On the line, a berth into the gold medal game. The Junior B Heat ended up beating Olds 12-6, as a new day was almost set to dawn. This is your Cave Inspections Post-Game Report.
Tense first period
The Heat and Mavericks seemed dead even to open the game. The teams traded chances for six and a half minutes to begin the first. Mason Wild made some exceptional saves to keep the score even at 0-0. Cole Kulczycki broke the scoreless tie with 13:23 to play in the opening frame. Issac Brown added another just 15 seconds later. The Mavericks scored their first goal off the stick of Marshall Bloomfield, officially ten minutes in. Donovan Bibeau answered back quickly, and restored the two goal lead 23 seconds later. The game was 3-1 headed into the second.
Heat offense shines
Lakeland scored two goals to open the second period. Ethan Brown and Donovan Bibeau netted goals in the opening minute, and expanded the Heat lead to 5-1. Ball movement seemed to be in fine shape for the Heat. Olds potted two goals four minutes apart to cut the lead to 5-3. Conner Born and Tanner Barnes came through in the late goings to get the Heat lead to 7-3. That’s the way it sat going into the dressing rooms.
Both teams were well aware of what the Heat had managed to do against Lethrbidge earlier. The message on the bench remained: Win and you’re in. The boys knew they had to keep their guard up, or it could get out of hand. The Mavericks scored the opening goal of the final frame, cutting the lead to 7-4. That was all the Junior B Heat needed to wake up. Justin Hodinsky answered back on the powerplay, and Donovan Bibeau scored another one to sit the Heat a five goal lead. Jaedyn Stratychuk buried the tenth goal of the game with 11:05 on the scoreboard. Olds gained a fraction of momentum with a goal from Mathhew Gaudette with just under five to play. Ethan Brown crushed Olds’ hopes of a comeback a mere 40 seconds later. Olds added one more, but Mitchell Bibeau put the game to bed. Final score ended 12-6 for the Lakeland Heat.
“That team meal that we planned, we were nice and early. We had a long break, and got some substance.” Head Coach Dennis Hodinsky summaraized. “It’s the third game of round robin for both teams. We’re the top teams in Alberta. The boys are tired, and the footwork is a bit slower… Gold medal game will be the first time for our club.”
What they came here for
The message from the veterans on the club had been provincials or bust all season. With their win against Olds, the Heat have the chance to capture the gold medal. They will play the Lethbridge Barracudas for the rights to the Provncial crown. Game time is 2 P.M. on Sunday at the Strathcona Olympiette Centre. #TurnUpTheHeat