By Bill Burfoot
Photo by Laurie Anderson
Triple overtimes, penalty shots, one-goal games, and many back-and-forth affairs highlighted the first night of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League playoffs as all four series’ got underway Friday night.
Portage Terriers (1) vs Waywayseecappo Wolverines (8)
These two teams came out with a bang to start their first round series, with all five goals scored in the game coming in the first period as the top-ranked Terriers took a 1-0 series lead with a 4-1 win over the Wolverines in Portage. Chase Brakel had a three-point night for the Terriers including the opening goal of the game, while Sam Huston added a pair of goals in the win. The two clubs will meet for Game 2 on Sunday night in Waywayseecappo.
Swan Valley Stampeders (2) vs Dauphin Kings (7)
The Dauphin Kings got off to the start they wanted, scoring the only two goals of the first period, but Swan Valley answered with six unanswered goals, including five in the second period, as they doubled up the Kings 6-3 in Game 1 of their best-of-seven series. Swan Valley’s Tucker Scantlebury led the way with a pair of goals for the Stampeders, extending his point streak to four games (3G, 3A) going back to the regular season.
Selkirk Steelers (4) vs Virden Oil Capitals (5)
It took close to six complete periods of play to find a winner between the Steelers and Oil Capitals before Kolten Kanaski was finally able to light the lamp just over 16 minutes into the third overtime to give Virden a 3-2 win, and a 1-0 series lead. After a scoreless opening two periods, the teams exchanged a pair of goals each in the third period to send it to overtime. Steelers Ryan Sokoloski had a glorious chance to win it in the third overtime when he was awarded a penalty shot, but hit the post. Minutes later Steelers forward Connor Barley was given a 5-minute major and a game misconduct, and Kanaski capitalized on the ensuing power play to give Virden the win.
Steinbach Pistons (3) vs Winnipeg Blues (6)
As predicted, Game 1 was a back-and-forth affair between rivals Winnipeg and Steinbach, with the Pistons jumping out to a 1-0 series lead after a 4-3 win Friday night. Winnipeg opened the scoring midway through the first period on a goal from Nathan Adrian. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead just three minutes later with Blues captain Kelton Sutherland notching his first of the playoffs. The two-goal lead lasted all of 39 seconds before Boedey Vaeth scored his first of two on the night to cut the lead to 2-1 after one. The Pistons would find the back of the net twice in the middle frame with Vaeth getting his second early in the period to tie things up at two. Tanner Mole gave Steinbach their first lead of the game late in the second, putting the Pistons up 3-2 after two. An early Blues goal from Darren Gisti evened things up once again, but Mole registered his second goal of the game, and eventual game-winner with just under seven minutes to go to give Steinbach a 1-0 series lead.