Yesterday the Allan Cup tournament officially kicked off from sunny Lacombe, Alberta.
The first game of the tournament featured two familiar foes, the Rosetown Red Wings took on the Innisfail Eagles.
The Eagles were hot-to-trot as they took control right from the opening face-off, bombarding Rosetown goaltender Brody Hoffman, but unable to beat the former Quad City Mallards goalkeeper.
At the other end, Eagles goalie Allen York, formerly of the Columbus Blue Jackets, got off to a regrettable start allowing the first goal of the game off of the Red Wings first shot. Jeremy Boyer was credited with the goal while Sam Klassen got the lone assist.
No more goals would be scored until the 16:42 mark of the first when Innisfail’s Chris Bailer would tie the game briefly up before the Wings response with 29 seconds left to retake their lead, 2-1.
Both teams had excellent chances in the second period including a breakaway save by York at the midway point of the second period, however, the Wings would add to their lead when Joe Vandermeer was sent to the box for interference. Brayden Atkinson made it 3-1, tallying the goal on the power play. Despite the clear lead on the scoreboard, Innisfail was still controlling the pace of the game trying to get one past the red hot goaltending of Brody Hoffman.
Once again with under five minutes to go the Eagles managed to bring themselves within a goal when the ACHW co-MVP Shawn Bates scored on a beautiful individual effort to end the second period.
The Eagles managed to get the game knotted up at three when Tyler Beechy was able to get into some open space and fire a hard shot that squeak it’s way through Hoffmans legs.
This seemed to reignite the Red Wings though as they poured it on in the third with several chances hitting the post or missing just wide.
On the power play, during a very much broken play, a shot was fired high from the left circle and was knocked down by Wings captain Jordan Johnston, who alertly swiped it into the gaping net as York still wasn’t aware of the pucks location.
The final score was 4-3 in favour of the Rosetown Red Wings who capitalized on three power play opportunities and benefited greatly from the goaltending of Brody Hoffman who stopped 34 of 37 shots.
Shawn Bates and Jordan Fransoo were elected as players of the game for their teams.
Rosetown moves to 1-0 in round robin play, and will have today off before taking on the Stoney Creek General on Wednesday, while Innisfail drops to 0-1, and will take on the same Stoney Creek team today at 4pm MDT.
For a full schedule of the games, and links for streaming, please visit the Allan Cup Website.