After a busy week in the Big Six playoffs, one team has advanced to the semi-final round while the other three series' will be decided on the weekend.
THURSDAY - CARLYLE STUN ROCKETS IN REDVERS TO STAY ALIVE
The Carlyle Cougars last win came on November 24th, after back-to-back overtime wins over Yellow Grass.
With the Redvers Rockets leading the Best-of-5 quarterfinal series (2-0) and playing game three at home, many would have counted out the Cougars before the game even started.
But the resolve shown all year by the young group in Carlyle was on display on Thursday night with their season on the line.
Redvers took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission after a powerplay goal by Braden Liboiron with 1:34 remaining.
Early in the second period, not only would Carlyle tie the game but they would take their first lead of the series.
A funny bounce in the neutral zone went past a Redvers defender as Cooper Fox picked up the loose puck and fired it past Rockets' goaltender Brodie McColl to even the score at 1-1. Just 25 seconds later, Billy Greenwood fired the puck past McColl's blocker to put Carlyle up 2-1 with 17 minutes left in the second period.
The Rockets would respond with 9:01 left in the middle frame. During a short 4-on-4, Craig Gaudet fired a perfect bounce-pass off the boards to send Remi Lamotte in on a breakaway. Lamotte best Carlyle netminder Josh Hohn to tie the game at 2-2 heading into the third period.
The first five minutes of the final frame were evenly played until Redvers absolutely took over. The Rockets sent a dozen shots in on Hohn while not allowing a single one themselves for about ten minutes of gameplay. But Hohn and the Cougars would weather the storm and keep the game tied until the final minutes.
Then, with only 2:11 remaining, the Cougars would retake the lead.
The Cougars forced a turnover in their own zone as Jordan Fox hit Cooper Fox with a breakout pass. With a man driving towards the net, Fox fired a shot through McColl's five-hole to give Carlyle a 3-2 lead with Fox's second of the game.
Redvers would earn a powerplay with just over 1:30 remaining and pulled the goalie for a 6-on-4 advantage. Despite numerous great chances, Hohn and the Cougars defence would hold the fort and hang on for the thrilling 3-2 victory.
The series now shifts back to Carlyle for Game 4 on Sunday night.
WEDNESDAY - YELLOW GRASS SWEEPS CARNDUFF AFTER 8-7 DOUBLE-OT FINISH
In what might be the game of the playoffs, the home crowd in Yellow Grass left the Communiplex happy after the Wheat Kings edged the Carnduff Red Devils in a double-overtime thriller.
Yellow Grass led 2-1 after the first period, with Carnduff's offence waking up in the middle frame and giving the Red Devils a 5-3 lead after two periods.
In the third period, Yellow Grass would score four unanswered goals to take a 7-5 lead. With their season on the line, Carnduff scored twice more in the final ten minutes to force overtime with a 7-7 score.
The first 10-minute overtime period solved nothing, which meant the game went to a 20-minute overtime after the ice was flooded.
However, it would only take another 36 seconds for a winner to be decided. Wheat Kings' forward Corey Koski scored at the 19:24 mark of the second overtime to give Yellow Grass an 8-7 win and eliminate Carnduff from the Big Six playoffs.
Four players registered a hat-trick in the game:
YG: Corey Koski (3G, 1A), Mike Onstad (3G), Brendan Vertefeuille (2G, 3A)
CRD: Matt Audette (3G, 3A), Trevor Geiger (3G), Devon Carriere (4A), Blake McMillen (4A), Shawn Gallant (1G), Barrett Dumaine (1A)
Yellow Grass advances to the semi-finals and will wait to see who their opponent is.
WEDNESDAY - WAWOTA DEFEATS MIDALE 8-3; LEAD SERIES (2-0)
The Wawota Flyers have had no problem scoring against the Midale Mustangs this season, scoring 20 goals in two wins during the regular season and winning Game One of the playoff series 5-1.
That trend would continue in Midale for Game Two on Wednesday.
The Flyers took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Early in the second period, Midale would cut the lead to 2-1 with a powerplay goal.
Wawota would bounce back, scoring twice more to take a 4-1 lead into the third period.
The Flyers poured on the offence in the final frame, scoring four more times en route to an 8-3 victory over Midale.
Riley Riddell (2G, 2A) and Justin Lamontagne (1G, 3A) led the scoring for the Flyers.
Game Three is Friday back in Wawota where the defending Big Six champions will look to sweep away the Mustangs on home ice.
Oxbow Huskies @ Bienfait Coalers - 8pm (Bienfait leads 2-0)
Midale Mustangs @ Wawota Flyers - 8pm (Wawota leads 2-0)
(If nec.) Bienfait Coalers @ Oxbow Huskies - 8pm (Bienfait leads 2-0)
(If nec.) Wawota Flyers @ Midale Mustangs - 8pm (Wawota leads 2-0)
Redvers Rockets @ Carlyle Cougars - 8pm (Redvers leads 2-1)