As the schedule gets closer to the holiday break in the Big Six, the mid week games become more and more frequent, and three of them hit the ice, starting off with the Arcola/Kisbey Combines and the Wawota Flyers on Tuesday.
Wawota @ Arcola/Kisbey
In the first game of the season between the two teams, the Flyers were looking to get back on track whereas the Combines were still searching for that elusive first win of the season.
The Combines managed to hit the twine before the visiting Flyers just over three minutes in when Rhett Palmer would score the game's first goal. The celebration would be short lived as only :22 seconds later, the Flyers would put the first of three in the period at the back of the net thanks to Riley Riddell.
The other two would come with just over three minutes left, again separated by :22 seconds, the first from Kayla Swanson and the next from Derek Frater.
After the first: 3-1 Flyers
The second would add more on to the lead for the Flyers from the same two culprits as the last, this time Frater getting the first of the frame and being followed by Swanson. A third goal would get thrown on the big lead when Jordan Fox got his first of the game.
Score after two: 6-1 Flyers
The Combines would get on the board in front of their home crowd for the second time of the night almost exactly 40 minutes of play after their last goal. 16:04 on the clock and Leevi Runge would race the puck in past Guilliuame Blouin to cut the lead back down to four, but that's as far as it would get.
The Flyers added a seventh and final goal when Fox would add his second of the game, and that would cap off the big win over the Combines.
FINAL SCORE: 7-2 Flyers
Carlyle @ Bienfait
In a game that holds a lot of weight in the standings this year, the Carlyle Cougars looked to take sole possession of first place in the Big Six Hockey League after losing two straight, while the Bienfait Coalers were looking to continue some momentum built up after three straight wins over some tough teams.
The first period would be where the majority of goals would be scored, especially for the visiting Cougars. They would start the game off with three straight goals starting just 2:19 into the game when Kelly Currie would get one passed Jackson Walliser to put the Cougars up one. Three minutes later and they'd add another on the board thanks to the stick of the league's leading goal scorer Ben Johnstone.
The third goal of the period would again find its way into the Coaler's net, this time Mitchell Morrison would add his name to the scoresheet fourteen minutes in. The bleeding would stop for the Coalers in the first though, they would find the back of the net when Dylan Lay would score.
After the First: 3-1 Carlyle
The second would not warrant any goals, and much to the displeasure of the Coalers fans, neither would most of the third. As the team was starting to get nervous in the final ten minutes of the game, Keegan Malaryk would make it a one goal game and give the Coalers a chance.
Landon Audet would face an onslaught of shots in the final ten minutes of the game before the end of the game, but he would stand tall and lead his team to victory after two straight losses and give his team sole possession of first place in the league.
FINAL SCORE: 3-2 Carlyle
WEDNESDAY FEATURE GAME: Carnduff @ Redvers
Almost halfway through the season and the rivalry between the Redvers Rockets and Cardiff Red Devils was finally renewed for the season. After Redvers swept the finals (and every game after December except one), the Red Devils came back to Redvers for the first time after being swept with a bad taste in their mouth.
They came into the game riding a three game winning streak and hoping to join the Carlyle Cougars at the top of the league with a win tonight, although they would try to do so without the help of one of their leading scorers Nico Anderson. He was out with an instigator suspension after a fight in their last game with Oxbow.
The Rockets on the other hand were fresh off of two cancelled games and a loss to Beinfait. Despite only playing 6 games, they had accumulated enough wins to only be two games back of the large tie at 12 points.
The start of the game would go back and forth a bit before the Rockets would take control over the first period. 2:52 into the game when Jordan Miller would score the first of a first period onslaught when his backhand from the top of the circle would fly over the pad of Cody Dumaine.
Jordan Miller would take a while to find the twine again, but with just under four to go he would get one off the rush. Drew Hoff and Craig Gaudet would come down the ice on a two-on-one chance, and Hoff would give Gaudet the one-time chance which would fly wide right, but the puck would rebound off the boards and Miller would hack the puck into the net for the game's second.
Ten seconds later, Kenton Miller would join his brother on the scoresheet, skating the puck directly down centre and fire it through the five-hole of Dumaine once more, and that would end the first period for a tired Red Devils squad.
After the first: 3-0 Rockets.
The second would start almost identical to the first when three minutes in, the Rockets would extend their lead. Sean Jonassen would put the Rockets up by four when he would swat in the rebound off the shot from Francis Lamotte.
Down four, the Red Devils would start the comeback.
Devon Carriere's wrist shot would beat the blocker of Thomas Bauche for the first of the Red Devils' second period surge.
The comeback would be temporarily interrupted by the Rockets thanks to a missile of a shot when Brady Gaudet picked the pocket of a Red Devils' defender and walked over the line, then let it loose off the post and in from the blue line.
Now down 5-1, the Red Devils' comeback efforts would return. Brandon Task would get the next one when he would find the net, a shot through a screen that snuck through the pads of Thomas.
The Red Devils' assault would reward them with a power play, and they would capitalize. The captain, Kody Martin would get the next one passed Thomas, this one a slap shot of his own that would work its way in clean.
The final goal of the period would once again come from the Red Devils with just over a minute left in the frame. This time Tanner Reynolds would score for his team, bringing the game back to within one.
After two: 5-4 Redvers
Again the Rockets would get a quick start to the period, this time even quicker when they scored less than two minutes in. Kenton Miller would get his second of the game off a shot from the top of the circles to make it's way passed Dumaine to restore the two goal lead.
And he wasn't done there.
In what could be the goal of the season, at least in terms of goals scored while the radio has been present, Kenton Miller scored a fantastic goal. Miller would break down the ice with two defenders in front of him and his team changing, a right handed shot coming down the right side. He would make a move to get around the first, and while between both defence men, he managed to put the puck between the legs of the defender in front of him, lift his stick over and smack the puck right through the five hole of Dumaine for the hat-trick and the three goal lead, 8:44 showing on the clock.
Carnduff would need comeback and quickly. They would take one penalty in the final eight minutes, a very questionable slashing call shortly after the third goal from Miller that they would kill off. After an onslaught, finally the Red Devils would get cut the lead, albeit slightly, when Blake McMillen would slam another point slap-shot in from the point.
Once Carnduff had a chance, Cody Dumaine left his net to bring the extra man on with 1:47 on the clock, but it would be no use as the Rockets would take the puck the other way and attack, and would spend a majority of the final moments of the game in the Carnduff zone before the game would come to a close.
FINAL SCORE: 7-5 Redvers
The win puts Redvers at 10 points on the season, tied with Wawota and Bienfait and right behind Carnduff.
The next game on CJ 1150 will be this Friday when Middle hosts Oxbow.