By Bill Burfoot
Photo courtesy of the Pembina Valley Twisters
The Pembina Valley Twisters continued their hot play, opening up their semi-final series against the Stonewall Jets with a 3-2 win on Saturday night.
Pembina Valley have been on quite a roll in the past month. Dating back to the regular season, the Twisters have now rattled off nine straight wins heading into Game 2 Sunday night.
Pembina Valley won the season series against the Jets, winning four of the five games, but Stonewall won the last regular season meeting by a score of 4-2. Game 1 saw the two clubs exchange goals in the first and second periods with Stonewall’s Keevan Daniels-Webb notching his second of the post-season in the opening frame, followed by a Quade Froese equalizer midway through the second.
Jeremie Goderis put the Twisters up 2-1 with a power play goal early in the third, but the Jets answered with a power play goal of their own just under four minutes later to knot things at two. The score remained that way until Travis Penner found the back of the net for Pembina Valley with seven minutes to go with the eventual game-winner to give the Twisters a 1-0 series lead. Both goaltenders were sensational in Game 1, with Swan stopping 39 shots in the loss, while Twisters Travis Klassen knocked aside 41. Game 2 goes Sunday night at Stonewall.
The other semi-final matchup gets underway Sunday night, with the St. James Jr. Canucks hosting the Transcona Railer Express.
How they got here
The Canucks faced the Ft.Garry/Ft.Rouge Twins in Round 1, winning a tight, five-game series over the Twins. Tyler Meixner led the way for the Canucks with seven points (3G, 4A) in the series while Ryan Ostermann found the back of the net four times in three games during the saeries.
The Transcona Railer Express and St. Vital Victoria’s played in a classic first-round series, going the full seven games before the Express sealed it with a 5-0 win in the deciding game. Five of the seven games were decided by one goal, including a dramatic overtime come-from behind win by the Express in Game 5 on a Nathan Hillis OT winner.
The season series between St. James and Transcona saw the Canucks win four of the five games, but three of the five games were decided by just one goal. Game 1 is set for Sunday night.