Wednesday, January 26, 2011

15 goals? Yeah, you read right.

It was a crazy game tonight at the WCEC, but certainly not in the kind of way anyone was expecting.

The Klippers cruised to a 6-0 lead over the Yorkton Terriers in the first period and endured some sloppy play over the final 40 minutes to pull out a 9-6 win over the Sherwood leaders, moving to within two points of the Dogs in the process.

It was obvious that the Klippers got up for this game and the Terriers didn't, but give Yorkton credit for not giving up in the first intermission. They scored four goals in the second period, including a couple of weird ones, and they made a game of it.

It definitely wasn't the best game for any of the three goalies in this one, including Sean Cahill (Peters was yanked after the fifth Klipper goal). A number of Klippers had big nights on the scoresheet, which made it tough to pick the three stars. Wheaton King and Johnny Calkins each had a goal and three assists, Ryan Elliot and Andrew Dommett each had two goals and an apple, Sanfred King had one and two, Braeden Adamyk had one and one, Sean Flanagan had two assists.

The six goals in the first came over a span of less than 10 minutes, including the final four goals in four minutes. It was astounding to watch. Everyone expected such a tight battle between the top two clubs in the Sherwood and the game was all but over in 15 minutes.

The King line set the tone for this one, opening the scoring when Elliot cleaned up the garbage in front of Devin Peters at 6:13. Barely three minutes later, Wheaton King banged a rebound past Peters' glove to make it 2-0. That was just the beginning.

Two minutes later on the power play, Dommett finished off what may have been the prettiest goal of the night. The Terriers tried to clear it and thought they had, but Sanfred King somehow managed to keep it in. Almost immediately he dished it to a surprised Johnny Calkins in the high slot. Calkins corralled the pass and flipped it over to Dommett on the right side, and the captain made no mistake with a shot just beyond Peters' glove.

Less than two minutes after that, Wheaton King pulled off just a dirty between the legs move to shake his man and get the puck across to Sanfred, who scored from the high slot. Then, 84 seconds after that goal (14:56 mark) Peters gave up a big rebound and Hoffman just managed to get his stick on it to poke it between his pad and the right post. Elliot got his second of the night 44 seconds after the Hoffman goal when he tipped a point shot by Cody Lund.

Yorkton got goals in the second period from Blaine Tendler, Riley Paterson, Robbie Ciolfi and Jeremy Boyer. Paterson was credited with a goal after his cross-ice pass attempt ricocheted off Lund's skate and past Cahill. Eight seconds later, Cahill went to play the puck behind the net, only to have it take an odd bounce right onto the stick of Ciolfi. The Klipper top line replied with three goals in the period, one for Adamyk, Dommett and Calkins. Tendler and Justin Buzzeo scored for the Terriers in the third.

One thing's for sure, we won't see the same kind of game the next time Yorkton comes to town on Feb. 12.

The Klippers got some good news on Spencer Braaten and it sounds like he will make his debut sometime next week.

Wheaton King: one goal, three assists

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Ryan Elliot: two goals, one assist

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Rockie Zinger: First 15-goal game as SJHL coach

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Klippers vs. Terriers preview

Well, this should be a dandy tonight. The Klippers are coming off a loss and hungry to gain ground on the Terriers, while Yorkton has won three of their last 10 and they know this is a game they have to win to hold off the Klippers.

I'm sure it will be a playoff atmosphere tonight. There was a great crowd for the Estevan game Saturday and I hope to see that building packed for this game. This is also the first time Kindersley fans have seen Yorkton since October, so I'm sure this will be a highly anticipated contest, especially with the addition of Boyer and Buzzeo to the Dogs' lineup.

Here's a look at the top two teams in the Sherwood Conference.

Yorkton Terriers (27-14-2-4, 1st in Sherwood)

After a seven-game losing skid, the Terriers have suddenly won three of four, including a 9-1 win over the Hounds on Sunday. It was always going to take some time for Boyer, Buzzeo and Brant Remenda (who, by the way, will sit out with a suspension tonight) to adjust to their new teammates. Those two have been on fire since joining the Terriers, with 14 points apiece in six games. But let's not forget the other cogs that have kept Yorkton running all along. It all starts between the pipes with Devin Peters. Yorkton fans say he's been in a funk at times this year, but he's still one of the top goalies in the league for my money.

Yorkton has a solid blueline, although it isn't the team's strength. Still, a back end led by the likes of Blaine Tendler and Kurtis Decker is nothing to sneeze at. Up front, Clarke Breitkreuz, Robbie Ciolfi and Brent Struble are three of the biggest reasons why the team is in contention in the first place. The likes of Zak Majkowski and Craig Eisenhut have also stepped up in a big way.

Physical play is the Terriers' calling card and the Klippers will have to match that tenacious edge tonight, something they definitely didn't do on Saturday.
Kindersley Klippers (27-18-2, 2nd in Sherwood)

The Klippers, who got an honourable mention in Monday's CJHL Top 20 rankings, enter tonight's contest four points behind the Terriers. It's a crucial tilt for them because two points back will have them right in the race, but being six points back with 10 games left could be too much to overcome. Kindersley blew a major opportunity to draw even with Yorkton on Saturday, when they lost the second game of their weekend set 4-2 to Estevan. They came out flat in the first two periods and, as Rockie Zinger pointed out after the game, showed little interest in competing physically. That will have to change tonight.

Johnny Calkins' 14-game point streak was snapped Saturday, but he has been the hottest player in the SJHL over the last six weeks and that line can dominate teams when they're all on their game. Sanfred and Wheaton King have been dynamite together and Wheaton's presence has really rejuvenated that line. That said, it'll be tough going for them without D. Jay McGrath. 

Taylor Duzan hasn't scored since Dec. 1, but he's been playing better and better the last few games, especially on Friday, and as he said the goals will come at some point if he keeps working hard. Tonight would be a great time for him to snap that skid. His linemate Jesse Mysiorek is back in the lineup tonight after missing four games with a groin injury, which will only help.

On the blueline, Sean Flanagan is coming off SJHL defenceman of the week honours (congrats Sean) and he has indeed been playing well of late. Kurt Leedahl has been terrific and John Sonntag had a great game on Friday. 18-year-old David Haaf has really stepped up his game lately as well. No word on who sits tonight. In goal, there is no question Sean Cahill gets the start for what is probably the team's biggest game of the season to date.

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I was busy watching football on Sunday, so I didn't get a recap up from Saturday's loss to the Bruins. Here's what Rockie Zinger had to say about the game, as well as an update on McGrath and a brief look at tonight's game:

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