Meadow Lake Stampeders lose in overtime

by Terry Villeneuve

If the first game of the series between the Meadow Lake Stampeders and the Wilkie Outlaws is any indication, it’s going to be a long series.

Game one in the best-of-five semifinal series of the North Saskatchewan River Hockey League was held Saturday and lasted 98 minutes.

Meadow Lake Stampeder forward Cole Fern pleads his case to no avail late in the third period of Saturday night’s contest against the Wilkie Outlaws. Tied 5-5, with just over five minutes remaining in the game, Fern felt he should have been awarded a penalty shot after being hauled down on a breakaway.

The two teams were tied 5-5 at the end of regulation time, then a 10 minute period, nor a full 20-minute period, provided no scoring. It wasn’t until eight minutes into the third overtime frame that Wilkie netted the winning goal 6-5.

“The guys played good, but I think at times the effort could have been better,” said Meadow Lake coach Ian Turberfield. “The bad thing is that we came off a series where we played a weaker team and you end up playing up to their speed and that’s what happened in that earlier series.”

Turberfield said his players needed to step it up a notch for the opening game against Wilkie but that didn’t happen.

“I didn’t expect the series to go three games either way, but we don’t want to lose our home ice advantage, which we’ve done, so we have to regroup. I still think it’ll be a long series,” he said.

Meadow Lake opened the scoring when Jordan Keller snapped a shot from 20 feet out which found the back of the net. Still in the first, Wilkie tied the game 1-1.

In the middle frame Wilkie capitalized on a loose puck to go up 2-1, but again the score was knotted 2-2 when Meadow Lake’s Eric Calibaba scored on another wrist shot. Before the period was over, the Stamps pulled ahead 4-2 courtesy of some good forechecking in the offensive zone as Jordan Oystrick was credited with one as was Darren Caron.

Just 34 seconds into the third Wilkie made it a one-goal game and then two minutes later had tied it up 4-4.

“When a team’s up 4-2 heading into the third, you should have that game,” said Turberfield.

“But Wilkie’s a good team and they’re a team that doesn’t rollover and die.”
Wilkie took the lead 5-4 at the 14:43 mark and then a goal scored by Meadow Lake’s Dustin Gorst was disallowed as the referee ruled it didn’t cross the goal line.

However, the Stamps found the equalizer when rookie Ashton McIntyre made a nifty play on the Wilkie netminder to tie the game 5-5.

In overtime both goalies kept their respective teams in the game coming up with big save after big save. Wilkie eventually notched the winner well after midnight, which was eight minutes into the third overtime period.

“In this next round, these four teams are all good teams and it comes down to goaltending,” said Turberfield. “Whoever’s got the hot hand, that’s obviously going to be a big thing.”
Game two of the series goes tonight (Feb. 28) in Wilkie with game three played back in Meadow Lake this Thursday, March 1. Game time is 8:30 p.m.

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