Matchup to be a barnburner

By Rhonda Cooper

The first round of Senior A provincials goes this Friday night at the Meadow Lake Arena when the Stamps host the Shellbrook Elks.

From 2002-2009, this pair of teams have claimed five provincial titles between the two of them. Fans can expect high-calibre, hard hitting and fast-flowing games.

“I haven’t been a part of the Shellbrook-Meadow Lake matchup,” said Stamps coach Ian Turberfield. “It’ll be an interesting series.”

With seven St. Walburg and a pair of Paradise Hill players joining the ranks, Turberfield’s approach is to keep the guys who play together on the same lines as much as possible.

“Cole Fern has played there so we could put him and Calvin Fiddler with one of their guys and it should work,” he said.

Turberfield expects that as long as the team gels quickly enough, the Stamps should have a good chance of winning the best-of-three series. With the players having previous experience in the Shellbrook rink, the goal is to adapt to the officiating and staying disciplined.

The Stamps have a single game this weekend, Jan. 28 but next weekend, the team will play three games – either two provincial and one league or vice-versa.

“It’s going to be a tough weekend but the team is mature and know what needs to be done,” said Turberfield.

First in league

Stamps netminder Jeff Vidal secures his glove side during the opening period of Sunday's game against Spiritwood.

As of Jan. 23, the Stamps have ridden their nine-game winning streak into first place in the North Saskatchewan River Hockey League edging St. Walburg into second spot by one point.

Stamps netminder Rick Dallyn recorded his first shut out win of the season Jan. 21, a 4-0 victory over Paradise Hill. Scoreless at the end of 20 minutes, the Stamps finally solved the Mike Barchuck riddle half-way through the second period when Cole Fern scored. Approximately five minutes later, it was Ashton McIntyre scoring to put the Stamps up 2-0 at the end of two. Just over three minutes into the third, Logan Gorst extended the team’s lead to three. The icing on the game came with 3:06 showing on the clock when Tedi Hood made it 4-0 – the Stamps eighth consecutive win.

The following afternoon, Meadow Lake hosted Spiritwood. Jeff Vidal got the netminding call for the Stamps.

Just over a minute into the game, Spiritwood got on the board first. Despite carrying the play for the bulk of the period, it wasn’t until late in the period that Meadow Lake’s Eric Calababa scored to tie the game 1-1. Three minutes later Dustin Gorst gave the Stamps a shortlived 2-1 lead as Spiritwood came back to tie it up a minute later. With 1:44 showing on the clock, a Spiritwood player was taken into the boards and went down with an injury.The teams were sent to the dressing room as the injured player was transported to hospital. The first period was completed after the ice cleaning and at the end of one the teams were tied at 2-2. That was as close as Spiritwood would get as the Stamps scored seven unanswered goals over the next 40 minutes to record a 9-2 win.

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