Saturday, March 24, 2012

GAME 5: Mils 4 @ Wings 5 (Wings lead series 3-2)

What a gut-wrencher.

Ian McNulty appeared to send a third straight game to overtime, when he tied Game 5 up at 4-4 with 52 seconds left in regulation, but Coltyn Sanderson changed that plan when he tipped home a point shot with 8.6 seconds on the clock.

Crazily enough, the Millionaires were just inches from tying it yet again, as they went straight ahead off the draw at centre ice, and Sean Aschim ripped a wrist shot that appeared labelled high-glove, but just grazed the shoulder of Wings' goalie Brett Teskey, with about 3 seconds still on the clock.

That was the first oddity of Game 5. Brett Teskey. Mitch Kilgore appeared to tweak something in warmup, and the Wings' 20-year-old and one of the SJHL's top goaltenders would take a seat on the bench, bringing Teskey into the spotlight, whose only minutes in these playoffs came in Game 1 of this series, when he mopped up the second half of the game after Kilgore was lifted early in period 2, as Melville went on to win the opener 7-1.

There were so many twists and turns in Game 5. Michael Desjarlais opened the scoring midway through the first, but then Melville's top line got running around in their own end against Weyburn's fourth line of all rookies, and Thomas Carleton scored his first goal and first point of the series to tie it up 1:33 after Desjarlais's goal, and it was 1-1 after one.

The only goal of the second period saw Jesse Ross fire a wrist shot home on a 3-on-2, with about 5 minutes left, giving the Wings their first lead of the game.

Early in the third, Eric Macoretta, a defenseman who hadn't played a minute in these playoffs until this game, and was playing forward, chipped home a backhand to make it 3-1, and it looked like that would be enough, the way goals were coming.

Well, then the goals started coming.

25 seconds later, Alex Elliott snapped home a centring feed from Connor Bradshaw, after Colin Mospanchuk did a lot of the dirty work in the corner. Then 17-year-old rookie Allen Kilback sniped his first career SJHL playoff goal, and it was 3-3, still with 6:10 to play.

With less than two minutes on the clock, the Red Wings won a faceoff in the Mils' zone, and defenseman Dylan Coupal sent a shot wide, and Jack Kennelly potted the rebound off the end boards to give the Wings the lead right back.

Blake Voth went to the bench, and Mr. Clutch, Ian McNulty would find a loose puck in the slot and tally his team-leading 8th of the post season, with 52 seconds on the clock.

The Mils were then stuck in their own zone and were forced to take a few faceoffs in the final minute. McNutly won 2 or 3 draws in a row clean, but the Mils failed to clear the puck. And, with 12 seconds left, they dropped it in one last time, and it was a scrambled draw, sent back to the point, and Braden Kmita threaded it through traffic, and Sanderson redirected it in, with 8.6 on the clock.

As mentioned, Aschim came real close to tying it yet again, but it stayed out, and the Millionaires are facing elmination as they return home for tonight's Game 6.

Coach Jamie Fiesel said on the Post Game Show "It's not a heart-breaker at all, we didn't deserve to be in that game."

Both coaches seemed content going first line vs first line, all series, but early in Game 5, Dwight McMillan threw out his fourth line of all rookies, in Logan Maddin, Thomas Carelton and Cory Kosloski, who had a combined zero points coming into Game 5, and at times, they dominated against Mireau-McNulty-Kilback. Once the Mils had the puck in the offensive zone, they did the same, but the young trio of Wings showed no fear and passed that test with flying colours.

That also got the Sanderson line away from McNulty, and that also appeared to pay off, as that line struck twice for the first time in the series.

It's gut-check time, and I expect a big bounce-back effort on home ice tonight from the Mils. They've had two games in the series so far where they really didn't look good at all, and lost 2-0 and 5-4. They've shown how good they can be when they put it all together, but now they HAVE TO.

The Horizon Credit Union Centre will be at its fullest, and here's hoping the bulk of the 1500+ in attendance will head home excited and thinking about Game 7.


Jerry said...

The Mills were lucky to even it up but unfortunately they lost with so little time left.
I hope that they play hard tonight in front of the hometown crowd and force a game 7.

Anonymous said...

Nothing to hold back. I think the Mils play better that way anyway.

Anonymous said...

They had no business being in that game, yet it was still close...Imagine if they played like we know they can?