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Argue Experiences Game-of-a-Lifetime Between Pipes

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Jayson Argue has seen and done a lot in his time playing hockey over the years. Whether it was in his Swan River Minor Hockey days, his junior hockey days in both Manitoba or British Columbia and even his NCAA Division One career, he’s played in and witnessed plenty of games where amazing things have happened.
What he hadn’t ever seen before though was something he himself accomplished this past weekend while tending the net for the Swan Valley Axemen.
Heading down to Russell to open their North Central Hockey League playoffs semi-final series against the Rams, the Axemen were heavily outnumbered.
The Rams dressed a full 20 man line-up while the Axemen made the trek with only 11 skaters to play a team who had yet to lose a single game this season.
Goaltending is often a critical position come playoff time no matter the level, and Argue proved that point with a game for the ages.
The Axemen were outshot by an incredible 108-38 margin yet took the top seeded Rams to triple overtime before falling by a 2-1 score.
“I’ve never been a part of anything like that in my life,” said an exhausted Argue the morning following his incredible stat-line.
“There were likely 300 fans to start the game and most all were still there when the game ended just before 12:30 in the morning.”
What everyone involved in the game or watching from the stands witnessed that day was likely unlike anything they had seen before.
That list includes Axemen defenceman Dallas Anderson who has made his way around the hockey world himself, having played junior hockey and semi-pro leagues in the southern United States.
“That was a once in a lifetime kind of thing - a game where everyone who was in the building will never forget that night” said Anderson.
“I’ve never seen anything close to that in all my years of hockey. Jay deserved all the recognition he got after that game.”
The recognition was not just reserved for his grateful Axemen teammates either as both teams surrounded the netminder following the game to congratulate Argue.
“Yeah, the Rams reaction was actually pretty cool,” said the former NCAA Division One netminder with the Bentley Falcons.
“After they finished their on-ice celebration, their entire team came to me and gave me fist bumps and said some pretty special words of congrats and what-not.”
For Argue though, keeping going wasn’t as hard as it might sound after being under siege all night.
“Watching my teammates go toe to toe despite being so outmanned was inspiration enough to stay focussed. We had four guys over the age of 35 and Russell is a young team. We may not have won the foot races to the puck but the guys battled hard in the corners and in front of the nets. It was just a lot of fun to be a part of it all,” he said.
“Watching guys like Dallas doing everything he could to win that game or (Ryan) Braun - who doesn’t even wear a chest protector - out there blocking shots was something to see”.
The Axemen went into the game with the plan to play a trap style of game and, according to Argue, the guys stuck to it and were only ever one shot away from stealing that game one.
“Definitely proud of the guys in front of me that’s for sure” said Argue. “I couldn’t have done what I did without their help and encouragement.”
Thankfully, if a team is going to lose after Argue’s performance, allowing the winning goal on a nice play was a lot easier to swallow as opposed to a soft goal finding its way in the net.
Rams forward, and recent pro player Brock Nixon walked in from the corner before roofing a shot over a sprawling Argue to end the contest.
Argue took a few minutes and stayed back on the ice to visit with a few friends from the opposition and people in attendance that he has known for years. When he did make his way back to the dressing room he was welcomed with a round of applause and cheers from his own team.
“Despite the loss, it was a pretty happy room,” concluded Argue.

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Brian Gilroy
REPORTER
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