Image provided by http://gamereadyphotography.com. Jacob Bartman, left, celebrates with his teammates after scoring the overtime winner in Game 2 to give the Cold Lake Ice a 2-0 series lead in their first round playoff series against the St. Paul Canadiens. The Canadiens beat the Ice 4-2 in Game 3 on Monday to make the series 2-1 Ice.
The St. Paul Canadiens defeated the Cold Lake Ice 4-2 in Game 3 on the road Monday might to cut the Ice’s first round series lead to 2-1.
Goals from Alex Astasiewicz, Braydon Burak, Brody Green, and Sheldon Scrannage gave the team a renewed spirit in the series, and they could knot the first round at 2-2 on Thursday.
“We feel really good about last night. Obviously being down 2-0 isn’t a great situation isn’t to be in. The guys played hard. I think we’ve had a lot of opportunities to score, we’ve just been a little snakebit,” said Canadiens coach Joe Young.
“Last night were turned around and it was good to see the guys get rewarded for playing hard.”
The Canadiens have had leads in each game of the series, but in Games 1 and 2, an early lead did not prove insurmountable.
The night before, Lane Wycotte’s first period goal stood for over thirty minutes, before Dani Kantel equalized three minutes into the third period.
Jacob Bartman scored midway through the overtime period to steal home-ice away from St. Paul.
In Game 1, the Cold Lake Ice relied on good goaltending from Matt Henwood and a patient offense as second period goals by defenseman Tyler Smith gave the Ice the edge they needed to start the series with a 4-1 road win.
Jacob Bartman scored with under four minutes left in the third and Coltan Buchta scored an empty-netter from his own zone to secure the victory.
Ice head coach Scott Hood says the series has gone well for his group.
“We’ve played well. We’re playing a 4th place team that’s a top-end team each year I’ve been involved. We’re not down 3-0, not down 2-1, it’s not been easy, they play a hard game…we’ll get some days off to prepare for Game 4,” said Hood.
Two disallowed goals could’ve changed the complexion of Game 1 for the Canadiens. In the first period, it appeared like the Canadiens powerplay put the team ahead 2-0, but the referee blew the whistle as the puck was crossing the goalline because the net was off its mooring.
Then in the third, Dyson Roy rung a wicked wrister past Henwood and off the crossbar – the siren sounded but the referee said the puck only hit iron.
Coach Young goes off on referee’s lack of communication on disallowed goals in Game 1
Coach Joe Young was not happy with the official’s lack of communication on both disallowed goals and called it “gutless.”
“Explanation? Are you kidding me? He won’t even come over to talk to me. It’s gutless. When you’re going to ref in a playoff game, you better be ready to come and talk to me if I need something explained,” said Coach Joe Young.
“If you want to be reffing in playoff game you need to be able to communicate with both benches. We’re asking what’s going on and he’s not saying anything. He’s yelling at me from across the ice – give me a little respect. I’ve been in this league a long time. Come over and tell me what happened. And he didn’t do that. Garbage.”
Both goaltenders earn rest
Both starting goaltenders, Hayden Lyons and Matt Henwood, started three games in three nights and will earn their rest before Game 4 on Thursday.
“Absolutely, and that’s all you can ask for come playoff time from your goaltenders,” said Coach Joe Young. “Giving us an opportunity, let’s face it we’re a little bit banged up right now and some guys are stepping up and playing out of position for us…they’re playing well.”
Hood said the Ice MVP for the season Matt Henwood has been a big reason for the series lead.
“There’s lot of guys who work hard, not taking away from anybody else, but he’s been golden. That’s what you need your goalie to do in the playoffs is play well like that, steal some games, and you couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Hood.
A major injury note is the status of Canadiens leading scorer Zach Bendall. Bendall got hurt before Game 1 and the question lingers whether he’ll suit up in this series. Young said Bendall is “day-to-day” with an undisclosed injury.
Frog Lake T-Birds down in series against Wainwright
The (8) Frog Lake T-Birds lost Game 1 to the (1) Wainwright Bisons 12-4 on Saturday.
Game 2 on Sunday was cancelled, and the league is still deliberating on the schedule for the remainder of the series.
The Bisons finished first in the NEAJBHL standings with a 29-3 record.
In other first-round playoff action the (6) Lloydminster Bandits won 5-4 in Game 3 yesterday to narrow the (3) Killam Wheat Kings lead in the series to 2-1.
The (2) Lac la Biche Clippers lead the (7) Vermilion Tigers 2-0 through two games.