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Canadiens finish season in style ahead of playoff matchup against Cold Lake

Lane Wycotte looks for Brayden Goulet in the slot for another powerplay goal in the third period of St. Paul’s home win against the Lloydminster Bandits last night.

The St. Paul Canadiens scored five goals in the second period and flexed their muscles heading into the post-season against the Lloydminster Bandits in a 7-3 win.

The line of Zach Bendall, Lane Wycotte, and Brayden Goulet was dominant on Saturday night. Three times each linemate contributed to a goal, while Wycotte and Goulet scored additional markers to cap off four-point nights.

Alex Astasiewicz added a goal and an assist and Tison Young scored unassisted in the third period to cement the victory.

The Canadiens finish the regular season in 4th in the NEAJBHL with a 20-11-1 record.

“I thought the first period we played hard. We took it to them for the whole first, but our execution was off right. We were losing pucks, they were bobbling on us. But overall everything started in the first, and in the second we talked about how we need to execute better and obviously we did,” said Coach Joe Young after the win.

“We’ve had a good powerplay all year and it’s been, hopefully into the playoffs. Overall with the last game of the regular season, I couldn’t be happier right now,” he said.

They will have home-ice advantage against the Cold Lake Ice, who defeated the Vermilion Tigers 5-3 to take 5th place over Lloydminster.

Coach Young liked the efforts from the Bendall-Goulet-Wycotte line.

“I thought they looked confident, they’ve played well all season…They’re starting to gel. You’ve got Bendy and Gouls on that line and Lane can finish,” said Young.

Alex Astasiewicz, fresh off his Defenseman of the Year and first team All-Star nods, regained the Canadiens lead just three minutes into the second period after the Lloydminster Bandits weathered the Canadiens first-period storm and finished the frame ahead 2-1.

Astasiewicz’s work from the point powerplay opened up Lane Wycotte at the side of a goal for a tap-in to cement the five-goal second period.

It’s evidence of the Canadiens strong special teams play are gaining steam heading into the playoffs as well.

The Canadiens three goals with the man-advantage moved to second in the NEAJBHL at 25 per cent – only the Wainwright Bisons have scored a higher clip on the powerplay.

Plus, the Canadiens penalty-kill sits top of the league in the regular season at 89 per cent.

Strong special teams have played into St. Paul’s 9-3 record in 2019.

Now, the team will play a younger Cold Lake Ice than the who ousted them from the playoffs in an entertaining seven-game series last season.

“You’ve got understand the regular season is a grind in this league. A lot of these guys work, got to school, kudos to hem for sticking with it. 32 games is not a short schedule for these kids. The commitment has been unbelievable. We are looking forward to playoffs – it’s the best time of the year,” said Young.