If Game 1 and 2 are any indication, the Battle of the Lakeland is going to be a nail bitter. The St. Paul Canadiens welcomed local rivals, the Cold Lake Ice for Games 1-2 of Round 1 of the Northeast Alberta Junior B Hockey League (NEAJBHL) playoffs, this weekend. Saturday night, the hosts took the game with a healthy 6-3 win. Sunday afternoon the visitors came back to the Clancy Richard Arena freezing the game 2-2 after regulation. After a short overtime battle, it was the Ice who would come out on top. Sending the series to Cold Lake with a game a piece.
On Saturday evening, the Canadiens came out with fire. Putting in three unanswered goals in the first period; one goal each from, Zach Bendall, Arron Gagne, and captain, Dyson Roy. “You couldn’t have asked for a better start,” Head Coach of the Canadiens, Joe Young, says it was important for the club to come out blazing, “we put three goals up within five minutes of the game and kept the momentum going from there.”
“I think we had a horrible start to the second period,” the coach is acknowledging the back-to-back Cold Lake Ice goals. Jean-Guy Boisvert and Mitchell Bibeau got goals past, Michael Davis. “It was a game where we had a bit of momentum, then they did, then we took it from there. We got a lot of pucks on the net, and it was good playoff hockey.” The Canadiens answered the two goals with three of their own. One each from, Tyrell Bourk, Arron Gagne and Orrie Wood.
After falling 6-2 in 40 minutes of play, Head Coach of the Ice, Scott Hood made the tough decision to pull starting goalie Nelson Schiiler to put in Matt Henwood. Henwood would have better luck, with only one goal scored on him in the third; unassisted from Scott Thackeray. It was a 6-3 final for the Canadiens.
Two Jr. B Canadiens were honoured with NEAJBHL awards. Michael Davis received Rookie of the Year and Zach Bendall received a 2nd Team All-Star award.
Next night, same rink, different outcome. It was a battle that required extra time at the Clancy Richard Arena on Sunday evening, that ended in the Cold Lake Ice’s favour. “I was happy we got it to overtime,” says Head Coach of the Canadiens, Joe Young, “I don’t think we played overly well. We had a horrible first period and the second wasn’t that great either. We didn’t generate anything and our feet weren’t moving. In the third we finally decided to get things going, tied it up and pushed it to overtime; where they won it.”
Steven Kufflick with the assist to Jean-Guy Boisvert opened the game in the first with a goal. Carrying that into the second, was Deni Kantel who put in another goal, for the Ice, from Jacob Bartman and Coltan Buchta. Captain, of the Canadiens, Dyson Roy was able to answer one of the goals, to close the gap, thanks to an assist from Zach Bendall. It would be Bendall who put in the only goal in the third to force extra time.
Headed into Cold Lake for a Family Day matinee, Coach Young says the club is going to have to bring back the fire they saw in the first game, if they expect to win. “We knew it was going to be a good series.”
Game 3 of the series gets underway at 5:00 pm on Monday, February 19th. Check out live player and coaches interviews on Lakeland Connect’s Facebook page, thanks to Lake City Coach and Original Joe’s Restaurant.