Score two short-handed goals ground Red Wings competition
ABRAM-VILLAGE - The Kensington Moase Plumbing and Heating Vipers closed out their Island Junior Hockey League semi-final series with a 4-0 sweep of the Arsenault’s Fish Mart Western Red Wings at the J.-Léonce-Bernard arena of the Evangeline Recreation Centre on Saturday night.
© Michael Nesbitt / Journal Pioneer
Moase Plumbing & Heating Vipers bear down on the Arsenault's Fish Mart Red Wings goaltender, Chris Gallant, during the deciding match in their IJHL semi-final series. Vipers swept the series with a 6-1 win at the J.-Léonce-Bernard arena of the Evangeline Recreation Centre in Abram-Village.
The Vipers defeated the Red Wings 6-1 to win the best-of-seven semifinal series, and advance to the Island Junior Hockey League final for the 12th straight year.
“Any time you can win a series, no matter how you get the four games, when you get them it’s always nice to win,” admitted Vipers coach Wade Waddell.
It marked the third straight year the Vipers have swept the Red Wings in a best-of-seven series. The teams met in the league final the previous two seasons.
Going forward, Waddell has been confident in the strength and depth of his team, but recognizes that the IJHL final is still to come.
“We knew that they had a quality team over there, but it just seemed that they couldn’t get themselves unglued this series,” said Waddell. “They are probably a better team than they showed.”
Before 350 fans at the J.-Léonce-Bernard Arena of the Evangeline Recreation Centre, the Vipers scored two short-handed goals during the same penalty in the second period to take control of the do-or-die game for the Red Wings.
Waddell assessed the Red Wings were the better team in the first period, but saw the short-handed goals as the turning point.
For Red Wings head coach Greg Rivard, it was disappointing.
“The whole series was disappointing, because I think we’re a very talented hockey team,” said Rivard, who agreed the short-handed goals were the difference. “It just went astray.”
"No matter how you get the four games, when you get them it’s always nice to win." Wade Waddell - Coach, Moase Plumbing & Heating Vipers
The Vipers led 1-0 after the first period, and Adam Wight’s goal 3:48 into the second period made it 2-0. Jeremy Balderston brought the Red Wings to within 2-1 at 4:24 of the second period, and a power play provided an opportunity to even the score. But Josh Bowman (6:03) and Zen Hamil (6:28) connected for short-handed goals for the Vipers to make it 4-1. Jordan Mayhew scored at 13:26 to send Kensington into the dressing room ahead 5-1.
Brett Hogan, with his second of the game at 5:01 of the third period, closed out the game’s scoring.
Referees Jeff Heron and Wayne Doyle called two minors, one fighting major and one game misconduct against the Vipers. The Red Wings received five minors, two 10-minute misconducts, one fighting major and two game misconducts against the Red Wings.
The Vipers will face the winner of the semifinal series between the Sherwood A&S Scrap Metal Falcons and Montague Maniacs. The Maniacs defeated the Falcons 7-3 on Sunday afternoon to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 5 is in Montague on Tuesday night.