Stamps stay hot, upset Eagles

Second-year player Ashton McIntyre (facing) bangs home the winning goal against the St. Walburg Eagles in overtime Saturday night while linemate Jordan Iron (9) looks on. It was the Stamps’ first win over the league-leading Eagles in three attempts this season.

Second-year player Ashton McIntyre (facing) bangs home the winning goal against the St. Walburg Eagles in overtime Saturday night while linemate Jordan Iron (9) looks on. It was the Stamps’ first win over the league-leading Eagles in three attempts this season.

by Gaven Crites

Ashton McIntyre’s overtime goal clinched the Meadow Lake Stampeders’ 4-3 victory over the visiting first place St. Walburg Eagles (15-2-1) in North Saskatchewan River Hockey League action Saturday night.

That makes five straight wins for the Stamps (9-7), who move one point ahead of the Edam 3 Stars (8-7-1) and into sole possession of third place. Second place belongs to the Wilkie Outlaws (11-6-0).

In what started off as defensive matchup and goaltending duel before both offences started opening up in the third period, the Stamps capitalized on a slashing penalty by St. Walburg and found the back of the net on the power play with 3:13 left in the five-minute overtime period.

“I thought in the first period we took it to them more so and in the second period they took it more to us,” said Meadow Lake coach Ian Turberfield. “The goalies played well. Anytime you go into crunch time, especially in these types of games, you have to play that kind of hockey and you have to have good goaltending. And tonight, both teams had good goaltending. It’s going to be interesting down the stretch. They have to be one of the heavily favoured teams going into the finals this year. And I’m pretty sure our team isn’t far off.”

St. Walburg held onto a slim 1-0 lead on Duane Larre’s first goal going into the third period, before Matt Luster answered back for the Stamps, scoring twice in the final frame and triggering some exciting back-and-forth hockey for the 800-plus fans in attendance.

“We were down a couple of times and we kept battling back,” Turberfield said. “Our team, halfway through the season, has finally found out how to win. Once you get past that point it really makes a big difference.”

Saturday night’s game at the Meadow Lake Arena was the third meeting between the two teams this season. St. Walburg won the previous two easily – 8-2 in mid-December and 9-4 in late-November – making this an especially impressive win for the Stamps, but not a totally unexpected one, considering how they have been playing of late.

“They’re a very skilled hockey team and all year they’ve beaten us,” Turberfield said of St. Walburg. “The last four games we’ve won and we’ve really been playing well. It was a good test for us down the stretch here and heading into the playoffs, so, I’m pretty happy with our hockey team. It was a good effort tonight.”

St. Walburg forward Trent Campbell, who has 30 goals and 27 assists in 16 games this season, had two assists on the night. He said even though the first two games against the Stamps weren’t close, they were expecting a tougher game with a few key players missing from their regular lineup. The Eagles, said Campbell, have been playing with two lines for the last month or so.

“Like tonight, that was a good team,” Campbell said. “You can only do so much with two lines, especially since we’re missing our right winger, Jordan Fuder, it makes a difference.”

Fuder comprises one third of the NSRHL’s most productive line, alongside Campbell and Trevor Bailey – the league’s top three scorers. Fuder in the lineup usually means a couple more goals for the Eagles, Campbell added.

“I couldn’t buy one tonight,” he said. “Seems like everything I shot was catching the goalie’s shoulder or hitting the post and out. We usually score a lot more. It’s tough. You’re trying to do what you can do, but 30 seconds rest on a minute-and-a-half shifts, it’s tough.”

“You can’t take anything away from Meadow Lake,” Campbell added.  “They have some guys who can really play and they’re missing a few guys as well. It was a good game.”

John Iron scored Meadow Lake’s third goal and Harris Cameron assisted on Luster’s second, coming at 7:46 and 12:54 in the third period, respectively.

Next action for the Stampeders takes place tonight (Jan. 29 at 9 p.m.) when they host the Paradise Hill Hawks. This game was moved up from Feb. 2 due to St. Walburg’s first game in provincials when they travel to Rosthern to play the Wheat Kings.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: