The St. Paul Canadiens opened their 2017-2018 NEAJBHL schedule against a familiar opponent. You don’t have to look to far back to find the last game the two teams played. The date was March 23, as the Wainwright Bisons captured the NEAJBHL title in triple overtime. This past Saturday, the Canadiens paid a visit to Wainwright in what was a 7-3 Bisons win. Wainwright is shaping up to be a top contender once again this season.
The sticks started hot for the Bisons. Zach Mackay scored two goals in the span of three minutes, and opened a 2-0 Bisons lead midway through the first. The Canadiens’ Zach (Zach Bendall) answered back a minute and a half after the second Wainwright goal. It was a 2-1 score headed into the intermission.
Anyone who remembers the Championship series from last year, would remember the Bisons’ Scott duo. Kobe and Keenan added goals 1:43 apart to edge the lead to 4-1. The Canadiens got a response once again from Zach Bendall. The score would sit 4-2 into the late second. Wainwright added a third goal of the period, extending their lead to 5-2.
The third period seemed to be a flashback to the first period. The Bisons scored in the middle going of the period. The night was a special one for Zach Bendall, as he opened his season by capping off a hat-trick with 2:47 left to play in the third. The Bisons’ added a late one, and spoiled Michael Davis’ Canadiens goal-tending debut.
“I thought we competed well. We made some mistakes at key times. They’re a team you can’t give opportunities to, and leave guys open in front. It was a good measuring stick for us. First game of the year against a very good hockey club. We see what we have to work on. We need to be stronger on the wall, and clean the game up a bit.” Head Coach Joe Young says.
Home Opener Friday
The St. Paul Canadiens are ready to return home. They will face the Vegreville Rangers on October 6 at the Clancy Richard Arena. Vegreville is coming off an opening weekend that saw them win against Vermilion, and also play the newly minted Lac La Biche Clippers. Joe Young says it will be a great night at the rink.
“It’s gonna be fun. The guys will be excited to play, and I mean first and foremost get a [win]. We don’t want to go too many games without getting our first win of the year. We want to get that winning feeling.” Coach Joe Young says.