Saturday, March 12, 2011

Klippers knock off Wings in 5 to set up rematch with Yorkton

It was a lot tighter in the end than many people expected, but the Klippers hung on in the dying minutes to hand the Weyburn Red Wings a 3-2 win Friday at the WCEC, taking the quarter-final series in five games.

Braeden Adamyk, Spencer Braaten and Wheaton King powered the Klippers to a 3-0 lead, which they held until late in the third period.

Drew George ruined Sean Cahill's shutout bid with 4:29 to play. Then, with 2:56 left, Kevin Morrison drew Weyburn to within a goal, and a lot of people in the building got worried. The Red Wings dominated most of the final three minutes, but the Klippers managed to hang on and avoid going back to Weyburn on Sunday.

With Yorkton defeating Estevan 6-1 on Friday, they swept that series and will now take on the Klippers in the Sherwood final for the second straight year. There are a lot of players in that Kindersley locker room who would love to avenge their Game 7 overtime loss last year and they'll get their chance.

The dates haven't been announced yet, but it appears the series will kick off Friday and Saturday in Yorkton.

More to come from the Game 5 win, including interviews with Andrew Dommett, Wheaton King and Rockie Zinger.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Red Wings pull out a win to send series back to Kindersley

The Weyburn Red Wings were a desperate hockey club tonight and they made the most of their chances to hand the Klippers a 4-1 defeat in Weyburn.

The Klippers now lead the series 3-1 heading back to Kindersley for Game 5 on Friday. None of the players wanted it to go back to the WCEC but I don't think anyone expected a sweep when the series started.

Weyburn led 2-0 after one on goals by Tanner McCall and Drew George, and built an insurmountable 4-0 lead after two when Scott Kirkham scored two goals 1:18 apart.

The Klippers struggled to generate quality chances despite firing 41 shots on Mitch Kilgore. They came close late in the second but didn't get on the board until three minutes into the third when Braeden Adamyk flew down the left side and fired a wrister past Kilgore. It was a shorty.

Kindersley had their chances after that but couldn't score more.

Kilgore was once again outstanding. Aside from that the Klippers got virtually no traffic in front - especially on a power play that looked anemic - and I thought they failed to match Weyburn's physical tempo.

The Klippers' board work was dominant on Tuesday; not so much tonight.

Give Weyburn credit. They needed this win and they came out and played with urgency.

Tanner Kissick left the game after being cut by a skate blade in the elbow area and getting stitched up.

Sean Cahill got the hook after the fourth goal and Justin McDonald was outstanding in relief, keeping his team in it.

That's enough blogging from my phone for now. See you Friday at the WCEC.

No. 14 ends it 14 seconds into double OT

Braeden Adamyk went forehand to backhand on a breakaway 14 seconds into double overtime to give the Klippers a 3-2 win and a 3-0 series lead tonight at Crescent Point Place in Weyburn.

It was Adamyk's second of the night for the Klippers, who tied the game 2-2 on a Ryan Elliot goal in the second period. After a scoreless third, the Klippers got the better of the chances in the first overtime period and gradually wore the Wings down, but weren't able to solve a brilliant Mitch Kilgore.

After another break, the Klippers won the face-off to start the second OT, went D to D and, in Adamyk's words, he tipped the puck forward. He then blew past the Weyburn defence and caught up to the puck for a breakaway, where he deked Kilgore inside the right post to take the wind out of the Wings' sails.

Blake Kirkham and Keegan Bruce scored Weyburn's goals, both in the first period and both on the power play.

This was a huge swing game in the series and the Klippers were able to take a stranglehold. Had the Wings won, they would have gotten new life and tons of momentum going into Game 4 tomorrow.

It was a very clean game, with no extracurricular stuff. Weyburn knew they had to win this game and with Wees and Ulmer out, there was little chance of the Klippers starting anything.

I'll put up interviews with Adamyk and Andrew Dommett when we get back to Kindersley.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Comments on the Game 2 incidents

Well, the extracurricular stuff from Game 2 on Saturday is garnering a lot of attention, from today's Sports Cage with Rod Pedersen to various twitter and blog postings to the 25+ comments on this blog.

There are good arguments to be made on both sides and no one is necessarily wrong. I welcome debate on here, as long as people keep their emotions in check. Some of the comments are starting to include personal attacks and name calling toward players and coaches on both sides, and I can't allow that, especially when they come from anonymous commenters.

It's unfortunate because most of those comments made some good and well-written points, but people lose credibility when they start to throw around attacks on teenaged hockey players and their coaches.

By all means, continue to weigh in, but stay away from the attacks or your comment may not be published.

As for the incidents themselves, the SJHL was still reviewing game tape today and investigating the alleged incident involving Dwight McMillan. It sounds like further disciplinary action may be announced in the morning.

If there's any way you can get to Weyburn tomorrow, I'd strongly advise it as this will be a game you don't want to miss.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bad blood spills over as Klippers take 2-0 series lead

I'm not sure where to start with this one. The Klippers drubbed the Weyburn Red Wings 9-2 tonight to take a 2-0 series lead in a game that ended with some very ugly incidents, on the ice, on the benches and off the ice.

Tensions had been building up throughout the third period, and the Klippers had a 8-2 lead when everything rose to the surface.

With 1:27 left in the third, Wings defenceman T.J. Wees lined up Jesse Mysiorek in the corner with a brutal hit. He took several strides toward Mysiorek (only playing his second game back from a groin injury), who was facing the boards the entire time trying to win the puck, and plastered him from behind. Mysiorek's face may have hit the dasher on the way down. I couldn't tell for sure, but his head was awfully close to it.

Jesse is spending the night in the hospital and I would expect he'll be out for some time. No firm update as of yet though. The good news is he was at least well enough to send out a couple of tweets from the hospital.

After the hit, Wees tried to go after Cody Lund and there was a fracas in front of the Weyburn net. In the middle of that, everyone's attention shifted to the benches where the sticks were flying. That went on for a good two minutes.

I couldn't tell from my angle, but upon watching the video after the game, Wings agitator Lucas Ulmer was the first to swing his stick, reaching around the glass to do so. His stick hit Klipper trainer Neal Bruetsch on the top of the head; fortunately he was okay.

Four or five Wings (including Blake Kirkham, who swung his stick well over his head and then brought it down) continued at this, swinging at Taylor Wasden and Riley Down, along with a couple other players who were on the ice. The Klipper players had their sticks up as well, but weren't rearing back to take big swings; it looked to me like they were merely protecting themselves.

It took probably 10 minutes to sort all this out. The upshot was Wees got 2, 5 and a game for roughing and charging. Ulmer got a gross misconduct (presumably from starting the stick war) and Jesse Ross got a 10. For the Klippers, Down was given a gross and Lund got two for roughing. 

Justin McDonald entered the game in the final minute because Rockie Zinger was worried the Wings might take a run at Cahill.

Wees racked up 23 PIMs tonight, including three minors before his hit on Mysiorek. Ulmer's gross was his third penalty of the night, and he also got away with punching Casey Rogers after the whistle early in the second. Both players will surely face suspensions.

As for the game that broke out in the middle of the violence (imagine that!), the Klippers led 2-1 after a dominant first period and the floodgates opened in the second, with the home side ahead 6-2 after two.

A charged-up Andrew Dommett led the way with two goals and an assist. If there were a bump of the game during the playoffs, he would have gotten that too for a massive hit he laid on his first shift. Dommett was a constant thorn in the Wings' side tonight.

Johnny Calkins had a goal and three assists, including perfect centering passes to set up both of Dommett's goals. Calkins' tally came when he tried to go cross-slot to Dommett but the puck went off a Weyburn skate and in.

The other goals came from Braeden Adamyk (1-2), Sanfred King, Ryan Elliot (1-1), Wheaton King (1-1), Mysiorek and John Sonntag (1-2). The goal credited to Sonntag looked like it was actually scored by Riley Down, who had a tremendous game tonight.

Sonntag, Leedahl and Flanagan were all on top of their game tonight in what was a very strong all-around effort from the Klipper blueline.

Drew George and Brock Appleyard had the Weyburn goals. George cut the Klipper lead to 2-1 late in the first when he tipped a power play point shot from Kevin Morrison. Appleyard scored on a man-advantage late in the second when he was given all kinds of space to snap a wrister past Sean Cahill from the high slot.

You have to believe the Wings were missing goalie Mitch Kilgore (flu) tonight. Riley Hengen did what he could, but he was powerless against the Klipper attack on all cylinders. Kilgore is the Wings' MVP, I think, and they need him back for Game 3 to have a shot at getting back in the series.

The shots tonight were a whopping 58-26 for the Klippers.

After the game (and this is what I was told by coaches and bystanders, as I missed the first part of it) there was a fracas in the hallway as Weyburn coach Dwight McMillan allegedly grabbed and/or hit Klippers volunteer Kim Leonard. When I arrived on the scene, local police were restraining McMillan and telling him that if he said another word, he'd be going to jail for the night.

Again, I didn't witness how it started, but if the reports are true, there's no place for that. This is the second time in the last month that Dwight has been involved in an incident in the WCEC hallway. On February 4, when the Wings beat the Klippers 5-4 in OT, someone spit on McMillan in the hallway following the game.

Still have any doubt that these teams hate each other?


You'll want to hear these as Dommett and Zinger both had some harsh words for the shenanigans in the third period.

Andrew Dommett: two goals

Johnny Calkins: four points

Rockie Zinger