Game five. Elimination game. These are some of the most fun and intense in all of sports, especially between two offensive tightens such as the Bienfait Coalers and the Yellow Grass Wheat Kings. This series saw some overtime, some offensive games, chippy games, defensive struggles, a little bit of everything.
In the first period, the Wheat Kings would start their game plan, something you're going to see a lot of if you continue to read this article, and fire shots through traffic towards the net. The first eleven minutes of the period would pass before the Wheat Kings would get on the board first. Jesse Watson was dealing with an injury throughout the first four games of the series, and the returning defenseman would wind up and put a shot through traffic, and it would sail through without Jackson Walliser even seeing it allong the way.
Two minutes after that, the Wheat Kings would again score on a point shot, this time though it was deflected. Thomas Carleton fired a shot from the point that would get tipped from Mike Onstad in the slot, changing it's course from an easy glove save to a back of the net shot.
The next goal would go on the Coaler's side of the score sheet, and again thanks to their leading scorer in Dylan Herzberg. Keegan Malaryk would send a pass over to Preston Erickson at the point, and he'd fire a shot through traffic that would bounce off Wheat King's goalie Tanner Erickson, and Herzberg would tap in the easy rebound with seven seconds left in the period.
After the first: 2-1 Yellow Grass
The second period would again start in favour of the Wheat Kings, and again from the blue line. Almost identical to their last goal except at the other end and a different shooter, Tucker Neuberger fires a shot from the point and Mike Onstad tips in his second from three feet in front of the net, just over three minutes in.
Less than a minute later, the Wheat Kings would take the puck up ice on the rush as Troy Miller carried the puck, and he'd drop the puck back for the trailing Brendon Vertefeuille. His shot would hit the pad of Walliser, and bounce out to another defenseman, Brad Riege, who'd tap in his only point of the game.
Down by three, the Coalers would cut into the lead once more on the rush when Matt Bourassa brought the puck down the ice on a 2-on-1 with Dylan Herzberg once again, and Bourassa would feed Herzberg on the deflection through the pads on the rush to bring his team back to within two.
The Coalers would get a chance on the powerplay late in the second that was inches away from changing the game twice. The first instance was a one-time shot again from Herzberg that would get wired off the inside of the far post. The other, a rebound that went right out to Dallas Kickley's right side, right where the left handed shooter's stick was not, and he had an open net to shoot at as the puck end up lost in his skates.
The Wheat Kings would kill the penalty and score shortly after, and again thanks to work from the point. Kyle Mryglod would take the shot this time around from the point, and Tucker Neuberger would be the one that tipped it in.
After the second: 5-2 Yellow Grass
In the third period, the tensions would start to boil more and more near the end of the period, but the Wheat Kings would sew things up defensively, dump the puck in more and only chase with one player instead of the two man forecheck, then hang back at centre and do the same unless the opportunity to attack arose.
Jackson Walliser would continue to stop every single shot that he saw, but so would Tanner Erickson on the other end. The Coalers would start to take some penalties in the end of the period and time would slowly whittle down until it was gone.
FINAL SCORE: Yellow Grass 5 - 2 Bienfait
Despite the five goals in the back of his net, it was a spectacular night in net for Walliser of the Coalers. He made some incredible saves throughout the game, and stopped every single shot that he saw. The only way Yellow Grass scored was through a screen, three tips, and rebound goal.
After being pulled in the last start, Tanner Erickson came back for a solid performance in goal for the Wheat Kings.
The Wheat Kings will have home ice advantage over the Carnduff Red Devils in the final series, which could start as early as Wednesday. Carnduff lost both games in the regular season to the Wheat Kings, although Carnduff played the only one goal game in Yellow Grass, a 4-3 win for the Wheat Kings in December.