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SVRSS Tigers Hockey Team Falls In Consolation Final

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The SVRSS Tigers’ Hockey team finished their season this week as they started and completed the final consolation championship round of playoffs against the Minnedosa Chancellors.
In the final, championship game on Sunday (March 17), the Tigers and Chancellors were facing a do-or-die scenario at the Swan River Centennial Arena, each having a win under their belts.
They started the game with a very even but scoreless first period.
In the second frame things started to take a turn for the worst for the local team as the Chancellors scored back to back goals, leaving the ice at the buzzer in the lead with a score of 2-0.
In the final period, history would repeat itself as a pair of Chancellor shots would beat Tigers’ netminder Logan Frank’s. Still goal-less, the Tigers would fall to defeat and take second place status as the end of their season.
“We had plenty of chances but couldn’t find the net,” said Tigers Manager Cory Grandfield. “They got a couple in the second and had the momentum going into the third. The scoring just went dry and that is the way it goes sometimes.”
It was a different story in game two as the Tigers travelled to Minnedosa’s arena on Friday (March 15).
Keaton Sagert struck first for the Tigers, burrying one behind the goaltender. Eight minutes later the Chancellors would tie it up but Theron Church and Trey Sauder had other plans and would each capitalize with one of their own before the end of the period.
In the second, the Chancellors try to regain the momentum with an early goal. But, Cody Eisner and Steven Arp would shut that down quickly taking control of the game and making the score 5-2 at the end of the second period.
In the final twenty minutes, Jordan Gray would score to salt the game away, adding his name to the score sheet. That gave the Tigers the 6-2 win, forcing the deciding game three back on home ice.
“I thought all three lines were really rolling in the game,” said Grandfield. “We had that extra effort fighting for the puck and back checking. Logan also made some key saves to keep us in the game when we took penalties. It took six goals for each to win games one and two. I would have liked to see six posted on our side again on Sunday.”
It took five periods of play to determine the opening game of the series as the two teams faced off at the Swan River Centennial Arena last Tuesday (March 12).
The Tigers struck first with 3:56 left in the first period as Trey Sauder was able to sneak one in short side on the Chancellors’ netminder, giving his team a 1-0 lead.
“I thought we started a little slow in the first period,” said Grandfield. “But, we came out of the period with the lead despite not playing for 10 days.”
In the second, Minnedosa would take a slight edge scoring back-to-back goals early on. Gray and Damian Chernyk were able to momentarily take the lead back for the Tigers before the Chancellors added another, tying the game at 3-3 after two.
The two teams traded goals in the third when Gray added his second of the game but Minnedosa would answer back with one of their own.
Sauder would add his second of the night but that was also answered with just 2:25 seconds left in the game, forcing overtime.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net forcing a second over time period.
In the fifth period, Minnedosa was able to quickly put the game away and take the first game in the best-of-three series.
“We had lots of chances,” said Grandfield. “We needed to finish a couple more and it's a different game. We couldn’t seem to get that bounce to finish the game. We need to tighten up defensively and go hard every shift.
“We were in this situation last year and came back to win the series. It’s far from over after one game.”
With the end of the series, the 2019 season finds itself behind the team that all have the possibility of returning except for Ethan Campbell and Chernyk.
“Ethan scored some big goals for us and Damian is a warrior,” said Grandfield. “The opposition won’t miss them next year.
“In the end it was a great season. There’s already talk of what next year will bring.”

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Jakki Lumax
REPORTER
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