11 straight one goal games to start. 7 of them in overtime. 1 in triple overtime. 2 goals in the final 8 seconds to tie, and win in overtime. And, a 7 game championship series between two Junior 'A' heavyweights. A quick summary of the ride that was the 2011 SJHL/MJHL Playoffs on GX94.
Here's a little more detailed summary of the 26 playoff games we had on GX94 in a between February 25th and April 12th, starting with the extremely entertaining Sherwood Survivor Series between Melville & Estevan.
Fri/Feb/25: Melville @ Estevan - Game 1
5-4 EST (OT)
Mark Cross scored a first period hat trick for Estevan, and the young, rebuilding Millionaires looked like they might be in over their head with a Bruins' team that had nine 20-year-olds. It was 4-1 Bruins after the first 20. Ian McNulty, starting his coming out party, scored late in the 2nd to cut it to 4-2. Michael Desjarlais made it a 4-3 game just 3:13 into the third, and Michael Rogoschewsky tied it with 2:58 to play. What a series Rogoschewsky had. No fairy tale ending for Mils in Game 1, though. Bruins' rookie Josh Jelinski ended the contest 46 seconds into the extra frame.
Sat/Feb/26: Estevan @ Melville - Game 2
The only game in the series that didn't require overtime, but probably the most exciting finish from a Mils' perspective. Down 4-2 with 7 minutes to play, Rogoschewsky struck again to make it 4-3, and Roger Tagoona tipped in a point shot to tie it with 1:34 remaining. OT again? Nope. Rogoschewsky stole a puck at the Mils blue line, got by Estevan defenseman Joel Kot, and fed a perfect cross-ice pass to Mark Owen, who snapped it off the crossbar and in with 1:03 to play.
Mon/Feb/28: Melville @ Estevan - Game 3
5-4 MVL (3OT)
This time the Mils had the quick start, and led 2-0 after one. But, they eventually trailed 4-3 heading into the third. Tyson Newell, who played forward in the playoffs on a line with Ian McNulty and Michael Sagen, tied it up with 6:25 to go in the third. The two teams almost played another full game, until Rogoschewsky scored at 13:46 of triple overtime. The goal was scored at 12:04 AM. Alex Sirard replaced Zach Rakochy in goal after the second period, and stopped all of the 42 shots he faced. There were blizzard conditions most of the way home, and the Mils arrived in Melville at about 4:30 AM, and had a chance to end the series at home, just hours later.
Tue/Mar/1: Estevan @ Melville - Game 4
3-2 EST (OT)
The first 40 minutes were scoreless. Dylan Smith and Troy Hunter gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead in the third, and it remained that way with les than 5 minutes to go. Then McNulty, who scored 7 regular season goals, scored at 15:47, and again at 18:15, to force overtime again. That gave him 4 goals in his first 4 playoff games. Chris Daniels extended the series though, scoring 1:36 into overtime.
Wed/Mar/2: Swan Valley @ Portage - Game 1
4-3 POR (2OT)
The 4th place Stampeders were up against the first place, and eventual league and Anavet Cup champs. Portage led 2-0 early in the 2nd, but Jeff Peel and Dylan Trowell brought the Stamps even. Then, with Portage up 3-2 late in the third, the Stamps took a penalty, and that looked like it might be the game, until Beau Taylor tied it short-handed with 25 seconds left. In the MJHL, they usually play a 10 minute overtime as soon as the 3rd period ends in the playoffs. They did that, it solved nothing, and Tanner Waldvogel scored 9:38 into double OT.
Thu/Mar/3: Melville @ Estevan - Game 5
3-2 EST (OT)
It was snowing heavy, and late, so I crashed in Portage for the night, and got back in time to go to Melville and catch their bus to Estevan. It looked like the Mils would win all night. McNulty got them on the board on a short handed breakaway. Mark Owen scored early in the 2nd on a 2-on-1 to make it 2-0. But Dominic Perrault hammered a one-timer over Sirard's glove at the 10:00 mark of the 2nd, and Jon Ceci tied it before the middle period was done. The third was scoreless, and Perrault struck again, on anothe point shot, at 3:33 of overtime, to advance the Bruins to the next round.
Sat/Mar/5: Estevan @ Yorkton - Game 1
4-2 YOR (EN)
One day of rest for the Bruins, and then they were off to face the first place, and well rested Terriers. Yorkton wasn't rusty at all, as they out-shot the Bruins 17-3 in the first period, and despite Shea Cooper being specatular in the Bruins' net, it was 3-0 after one. Those big saves he made ended up being important, as Estevan cut it 3-2 early in the third. Zak Majkowski scored an empty netter in the final minute to make the final 4-2.
Sun/Mar/6: Wayway @ Winkler - Game 3
4-3 WAY (OT)
The '2 goals in 8 seconds' game. Winkler led 2-0 after 2, and they scored with just 1:23 left in the third to make it 3-1. In the dying seconds, Wayway forward Dave Williams had the puck and looked like he'd circle the Flyers' net, but banked a shot off goalie Reed Peters' leg and in. In Winker, the visiting radio goes behind that net, almost right infront of the clock. I literally had to turn around, and thought, and probably said something to the effect of, "Oh, 8 seconds left. Too little too late." The Wolverines called time-out, won the face-off clean, and came barrelling across the Winkler line. Paul Vandevelde threw the puck on goal with all kinds of bodies heading toward the net, and Ryan Duhiame, banged home the rebound right at the buzzer. The officials had a conference for what seemed like forever, but the goal stood. They tied the game! There was almost zero doubt in my mind who was going to win after all that, and Shane Goodrunning scored his 2nd of the night at 5:22 of overtime to give Wayway a 2-1 series lead. Unfortunatley, that was the last game they'd win all year.
Mon/Mar/7: Yorkton @ Estevan - Game 2
Robbie Ciolfi opened the scoring early, but the Terriers got into penalty trouble and trailed 3-1 after the first period. They scored four straight after that, including three in the second period, and Ciolfi's hat trick led them to a 2-0 series lead.
Tue/Mar/8: Winkler @ Wayway - Game 4
2-1 WNK (OT)
The two teams traded 2nd period goals, but that was it for the offense. They were off to overtime in a 1-1 draw. Wayway got a powerplay early, but turned the puck over at the point, and Jake Rombach and Jordan Neduzak took it the other way on a 2-on-1. Neduzak scored short-handed at 5:21 to tie the series. I didn't have Game 5 on the air from Winkler, but that was another TRIPLE overtime game, which the Flyers won on a Michael Wilgosh goal.
Wed/Mar/9: Estevan @ Yorkton - Game 3
Estevan led 2-0 late in the 2nd period, but Ciolfi would get a big goal with 41 seconds left in the period to cut it to 2-1. Clarke Breitkreuz tied it with a short-handed goal after Shea Cooper got caught wandering while playing the puck, and Brendan Poncelet tipped home the winner with 1:22 left.
Thu/Mar/10: Swan Valley @ Portage - Game 5
5-2 POR (first non-one-goal game)
The Stamps lost the first two games in overtime, but bounced back winning Games 3 and 4 at home to tie the series. Jeff Peel scored a short-handed goal late in the 2nd period to make it a 3-2 game, but Portage added two goals in the third.
Fri/Mar/11: Yorkton @ Estevan - Game 4
Justin Buzzeo had just returned to the lineup in Game 3. He missed the last few games of the regular season and first two playoff games. He got his legs under him in Game 3, and then took off in Game 4. Buzzeo scored three goals and added an assist, Ciolfi scored two, and the Terriers put the series away.
Sat/Mar/12: Portage @ Swan Valley - Game 6
It was 1-1 at the midway point, but Portage would tack on a late second period goal, another half way through the third, and an empty-netter. This was the game that saw Jesse Enns run Portage defenseman Tyler Harland in the dying seconds. Enns recieved a 40-game suspension initially, before having it reduced to 25. The hit led to a screaming match between coaches, and punches thrown by Swan Ass't Dallas Anderson and Portage Assistant Jim Tkachuk. Portage went on to beat Dauphin in the Sherwood Final, Selkirk in the MJHL Final, and La Ronge in the Anavet Cup. To think Swan had 2 OT losses and 2 wins to start that series!
Sun/Mar/13: Winkler @ Wayway - Game 6
Wayway struck first and led 1-0 after the first period, and it stayed that way through 40. Jordan Neduzak tied it early it the third, Chapen Leblond put the Flyers ahead, and Neduzak added an empty-netter. Our two MJHL teams lost out in back to back nights, and after 14 broadcasts in 15 nights, we were down to the Yorkton Terriers, and they, and I had a few nights off before the Sherwood Conference Final.
Fri/Mar/18: Kindersley @ Yorkton - Game 1
I predicted the Terriers and Klippers to go 7 games for a second straight Sherwood Final, and certainly didn't expect what was about to happen. The Terriers scored multiple goals in all three periods. Riley Paterson scored twice, and the Terriers took the opener 7-2.
Sat/Mar/19: Kindersley @ Yorkton - Game 2
It was 4-0 after the first period, and the Terriers chased starter Sean Cahill just 8:07 in when it was 3-0. It was a 7-0 final and a very dominant first two games on home ice. Again, I had a feeling that would change when the series shifted to Kindersley.
Tue/Mar/22: Yorkton @ Kindersley - Game 3
Buzzeo/Breitkreuz/Ciolfi combined for 6 goals and 12 points, including Buzzeo's 5 point (3g-2a) performance. The Terriers out-scored the Klippers 21-2 in the first three games. Devin Peters was still facing 30+ shots a game in goal for the Terriers, but he took a shutout streak of 137:16 into Game 4.
Wed/Mar/23: Yorkton @ Kindersley - Game 4
The Terriers jumped on the Klippers early again, and it looked like 7-0 might happen again, as they led 2-0 after the first. But credit the Klippers... now Melville Millionaire Taylor Wasden broke Peters' shutout streak at 162:22, on a slap shot from the blue line. Andrew Dommett tied it 3 minutes later and the Klippers had momentum for the first time all series. Jeremy Boyer made it 3-2 Terriers on a late second period breakaway. The Klippers pulled the goalie late, and Sanfred King rang a long wrist shot off the post. It stayed out, the Terriers were off to the final for a second straight year. They would learn two nights later that it would be the same opponent as the year before.
Fri/Apr/1: Yorkton @ La Ronge - Game 1
The Ice Wolves were in control of this one almost from puck drop. They built a 3-0 lead, Kyle McLeod cut the deficit the 2 twice, but the Ice Wolves rolled to a 5-2 win in the opener of the Credit Union Cup Final.
Sat/Apr/2: Yorkton @ La Ronge - Game 2
Devin Peters picked up his 3rd shutout of the playoffs. It was scoreless through half a game, until Robbie Ciolfi had a rebound bounce off his skate and it at 9:30 of the 2nd period. Kurtis Decker made it 2-0 late in the 2nd, and Riley Paterson added an empty-netter. Shots were 40-29 Terriers.
Tue/Apr/5: La Ronge @ Yorkton - Game 3
4-3 LAR (OT)
The Ice Wolves led 3 times in regulation, but the Terriers would answer all three times, on goals from Ciolfi, Zak Majkowski and Nathan Murray. Travis Eggum, who scored 58 regular season goals, scored the winner just 22 seconds into overtime.
Wed/Apr/6: La Ronge @ Yorkton - Game 4
4-3 YOR (OT)
Ciolfi scored 50 seconds into Game 4, but the Terriers, who had killed off 43 consecutive short-handed situations in the playoffs, gave up 2 consecutive La Ronge PP goals and trailed 2-1. Jeremy Boyer tied it again before the period was up. Ciolfi scored quickly in the 2nd again, only 32 seconds in, but the Wolves got it back in the third, and it was off to OT again. Boyer snapped his 2nd of the game top shelf at 1:59 of OT to tie the series.
Fri/Apr/8: Yorkton @ La Ronge - Game 5
The one that got away. Craig Eisenhut scored with 31 seconds left in the first period to make it 1-0 Terriers after one. In the 2nd (during a commercial break on GX94!), Justin Buzzeo won a faceoff to Boyer at the top of the right circle, and he wristed it upstairs over Adam Bartko to make it 2-0. Aaron Enns got La Ronge within one on a PP less than 3 minutes later, but Clarke Breitkreuz restored the two goal cushion on a beautiful end-to-ender. More penalties, and bad penalties, and it the Ice Wolves converted twice more in the second period, making it 3-3. And, again, on the PP, Justin Ducharme made it 4-3 Wolves at 8:18, and that's how it stayed. La Ronge went 4/8 on the powerplay, scoring 4 goals in their final 5 PP chances, and the Terriers were sent home, forced to win to stay alive.
Sun/Apr/10: La Ronge @ Yorkton - Game 6
4-3 YOR (OT)
A scoreless first, before Breitkreuz scored a carbon copy of his Game 5 goal, going coast to coast, and scoring low blocker side on Bartko 7:48 into the 2nd period. Canora product Skyler Hladun squared it at 2 before the 2nd was done. Logan Herauf and Eggum scored 4 minutes apart early in the 3rd, and the Ice Wolves started to taste their second straight championship. BUT, the turning point came right after the 3-1 goal. Decker went to retrieve a puck from the corner in the Terriers' zone, when he was cranked from behind by Ducharme, who got 5 and a game, and eventually a 2 game suspension. Decker didn't play again, and wouldn't have even if the Terriers went on to the Anavet, or even the RBC. After scoring just one PP goal in the series to that point, and struggling during the 5 minute major, Majkowski, who scored their first PP goal of the series, also scored the 2nd, late on the PP. Breitkreuz tied the must-win game with 4:21 left in regulation, and just before the end of the period, Eggum caught Terrier D Brant Remenda with a high stick, drawing blood. Another long PP, which the Terriers nearly scored on before regulation was up. About 3 minutes carried over into overtime, and Boyer found Eisenhut between the circles and he ripped a wrist shot over Bartko's glove and made Farrell Agencies Arena erupt, as he forced a Game 7.
Tue/Apr/12 - Yorkton @ La Ronge - Game 7
The first couple minutes of Game 7 ended up deciding the game. The Terriers iced the puck right off the opening faceoff, and Herauf opened the scoring 18 seconds in. Off the ensuing faceoff, the Terriers took a penalty, and Dayton Fossum made it 2-0 at 2:33. When it looked like the the route could be on, the Terriers weathered the storm, the rest of the period, and Ciolfi scored his league-leading 14th of the playoffs with 1:24 left in the opening frame. Eggum scored at 4:30 of the 2nd to make it 3-1, and the Ice Wolves really limited Yorkton's chances the rest of the way, and hung on to that 3-1 score, winning their 2nd straight SJHL Title.
Tough act to follow... let's see you try, 2012 Playoffs!