Sunday afternoon, the Carnduff Red Devils began their run towards a Senior Provincial B Title as they play host to the Wynyard Monarchs. The matchup on paper looks like one that should be an easy win for the Red Devils as the Monarchs finished in last place in the Long Lake Hockey League with a measley four wins, but the Monarchs managed to make their way through to the South Final without picking up any players on their team.
As for the Red Devils, they picked up five: Jake McMillen who plays with the Unity Miners in the Sask. West Hockey League, Derek Cooney of the Oxbow Huskies, and Preston Erickson, Ryan Curzon, and Dylan Herzberg of the Bienfait Coalers. Herzberg has been a little snake-bitten as of late when it comes to provincials, but he got the Red Devils on the board 21 seconds into the game from a sharp angle shot in close to the net off a feed from Trevor Geiger.
The Red Devils would then take a back seat for the next four minutes, not getting much going on the powerplay and forced to defend more than attack, but they would find their legs again when Herzberg's line stepped on the ice. A similar shot to the last, Herzberg would again get a pass between the goal line and the faceoff dot in the corner, and would rip home his second of the game to make it a two goal lead.
The Monarchs would add a tally in the back and forth period only seconds after Herzberg's second of the game. Drew Litwin would bring the puck down the left side of the ice and wire his wrist shot passed Cody Dumaine to bring it back to within one.
After the first, 2-1 Red Devils.
The second period would start off quick for the Monarchs. A scramble in front of the net would allow Litwin to tap in his second of the game to tie the score up at two just under three minutes into the period.
After that, the Red Devils would end up waiting until the halfway mark of the period to retake their lead when Mark Moriarty brought the puck down the right side of the ice on a 1-on-1 and undressed his defender with a backhand windmill move, then walked in alone and scored the go ahead goal.
A minute-thirty later, The Red Devils would regain their two goal lead when Matthew Audette would blast a one timer from the top of the circle off a sweet feed from Jake McMillen behind the net to make it their two goal game once more.
After the second, 4-2 Carnduff
Halfway through the period would be the first of the third when the Monarchs brought it back to a one goal game. Brett Leffler would find the puck on his stick and tap in a rebound goal to bring it back to within one.
The Red Devils would press the pressure right back, and with 6:46 showing on the clock, Derek Cooney would get the puck in front off a rebound of his own and tap in the shot that was redirected from Trevor Geiger.
With three minutes left, the Monarchs would come back in the back and forth game and again come to within one of the Red Devils, again thanks to Brett Lefler.
In the final two minutes, the Red Devils would get a bad hand as a scrum would ensue and the Red Devils would get two of three penalties on the play, meaning they'd spend the final 2:17 of the game a man short. The puck would stay in the Red Devils zone for a minute and a half, but eventually the Red Devils got the puck out and sealed the victory.
FINAL SCORE: Carnduff 5 - 4 Wynyard, Carnduff leads series 1-0
The Red Devils will go back to Wynyard for game two on Saturday.