Bypassing Day 3 at the Allan Cup and moving into yesterday’s elimination Day 4. Two intense games were played out, with two teams moving into the semifinals, and two other teams heading home.
The Rosetown Red Wings took on the South East Prairie Thunder in Game 1. And a curve ball was thrown into the mix as Nik Amundrud started the game in goal for Rosetown over regular season starter Brody Hoffman.
Perhaps this initially threw the Thunder off as seemingly everyone in the building was prepared to see Hoffman as he took the majority of the warm up.
Nonetheless, the Wings played their brand of hockey, straight forward no nonsense, take the corners and win every puck battle you can.
Captain Jordie Johnston led the Red Wings charge, scoring his fourth of the tournament to give Rosetown the first lead of the game.
South East uncharacteristically found themselves in the penalty box early but fought off each Rosetown powerplay in the first to keep the deficit at just 1-0.
Remi Laurencelle and Brock Nixon tried to change South Easts fortune early and often in the second period but Amundrud made a series of scorching saves, one of which was TSN highlight of the night material with a razor sharp kick save to keep the Thunder off the board.
Jared Jagow at the tail end of a penalty kill was sent in all alone on goaltender Steve Christie and he didn’t hesitate to out wit the goalie going glove side to make it 2-0 Rosetown.
Brickhouse Kyle Ireland would shortly park himself in Christie’s face and poke in another rebound to make it 3-0, seemingly putting Rosetown in prime position for advancing.
But in the dying moments of the second period, South East’s leading scorer, Devan Leblanc, would pull his team to within two at the end of two.
The third period saw much of the same, Rosetown winning puck battles and grinding it out, before Zachary Zadorozniak tallied the Wings fourth goal while Ian Lowe struck back once for South East.
The South East Prairie Thunder were sent back home to Steinbach dropping the 4-2 decision to Rosetown. The Red Wings now face the host Lacombe Generals at 8pm tonight for the second semi final.
In the other game, the Haut-Madawaska Panthèrs faced the stiff competition of the Innisfail Eagles.
The Eagles largely had control of this game from opening face-off, sending Panthérs players into the boards every chance they could. Shawn Bates set up a gorgeous one timer for Darren Reid to open up the scoring.
Haut-Madawaska’s Adrien Lemay would find himself frequently defending the goal alone, making several stellar glove saves throughout the entirety of the game, perhaps none more brilliant than his splits/glove save off of Tyler Beechy’s stick at the midway point of the first period to keep the score at just 1-0.
Andrew Randazzo tied the game up beating goaltender Kraymer Barnstable, but that good feeling was short lived as they weren’t able to turn the swelling tide.
Two power play goals, one each from Darren Reid and Caylan Walls restored Innisfails lead to end the second period up 3-1.
The third was a rinse and repeat of the two previous periods, as the Panthèrs couldn’t get any traction. Passes just never found their recipient and shots on goal seemed to go wide at every opportunity.
At exactly the halfway mark a horrible incident happened that perhaps a good portion of Alberta was aware could happen. The Eagles play hard-nosed hockey, and Taylor Mulder took that mantra way too far, slew footing and pitch forking Josh MacKinnon sending him head-first into the ice rendering him momentarily unconscious. He was taken from the building in a ambulance to the hospital where we have of yet to have heard his current condition. This was a wreckless play that doesn’t belong in the game and
The Eagles scored twice more, once into the empty net to eliminate the Haut-Madawaska Panthèrs from their first ever Allan Cup tournament.
This now sets up a intense game between the Innisfail Eagles & defending Champion Stoney Creek Generals today at four in semi-finals action.