On Friday night, as men were starting to panic as they wondered just where they were getting their significant others' Valentines gifts, five games were being played in the SHA's annual tournament. Three games produced series winners, while the other two were lid lifters on their series.
Bethune Bulldogs vs. Bruno T-Birds: Entering their series with the Bethune Bulldogs, the T-Birds were riding high after knocking off the defending champion, Wynyard Monarchs, in three games. In game one, the Bulldogs were able to grab the series lead by virtue of a 3-2 win. Bruno was looking to stay alive as they ventured to the Bethune Community Sports Center for game two of their best of three series. Game two was closer than the score indicated, as two quick goals by Shea Van Luven and Chad Filteau, turned a 4-3 advantage into an insurmountable 6-3 lead. In the end, the Dogs prevailed, 7-3, out shooting the T-Birds 39-34. Bethune now moves on to face the winner of the Davidson/Balcarres series.
Radville Nationals vs. Ochapawace Thunder: In Radville, the home town Nats brought in a two goal lead after a 7-5 road win in game one of their series against the Ochapawace Thunder. Last year Radville got a taste of victory after a dominating run in the QVHL playoffs and they wanted to keep this feeling going in this years SHA playoffs. The Thunder came in knowing it was win or go home, and after 20 minutes things were looking good as they held a 2-1 lead. The Nationals poured in five goals in the second frame, and after forty minutes they led the game 6-3 and were heading into the third with a five goal lead. The Thunder were unable to mount any sort of come back and in the end they fell by a 9-5 score, dropping the series, 16-10.
Beechy Bombers vs. Allan Flames: The town of Beechy has thrown their hat in the ring in the pursuit of being named this years Kraft Hockeyville community. A provincial banner would play nicely in this story, and last night the Bombers took a step closer in the D category. Entering last nights game, Beechy had a slim one goal lead over the Allan Flames, a team continually in contention in the Wheatland Hockey League from year to year. In game one, the Flames failed to capitalize at home, dropping the opener 6-5, which meant nothing less than a two goal road win would suffice. In Beechy, the Bombers, a middle of the pack team in the SVHL, were able to seal the series, holding on to a 4-4 tie, and a 10-9 series win. Beechy will need to step up their game as next round they meet the winners of the Kelvington/Theodore series.
Whitewood Orioles vs. Imperial Sabres: During the 70's and '80's the Imperial Sabres were always a top team in the Last Mountain Hockey League and Long Lake Hockey League. Now members of the Wheatland Hockey League, the Sabres were looking to write a new chapter in their storied history. The Orioles, who finished third in the THL this year and are battling Theodore in league playoffs, are also looking to add banners of their own into their new Community Center. After a 4-4 tie in game one, neither team is any closer to advancing in the D category, however a result will come Saturday night in Whitewood as the "Blades" and "Birds" will wrap up their series.
Wawota Flyers vs. Milestone Flyers: The Milestone Flyers and Radville Nationals battled all year for the league lead in the QVHL, while the Wawota Flyers and Bienfait Coalers did the same for the B6HL lead. This series featured two evenly matched teams, and game one was an indication of just how tight this two game total point series will be. Starting on the road always puts pressure on the visitors to keep the series close, while the home squad is always looking to build a cushion. In Wawota, the hosts were unable to build any sort of comfort heading into game two, as they fell 7-5 to the western Flyers. Wawota will head to Milestone to see if they can exact some revenge in game two on Monday 16th.
Tonight's Action: Eight games are on tap tonight in the SHA playoffs. Refer to the scores and schedule page for games and make sure to check local listings for game times. As always, stay safe on our winter roads.