KENSINGTON – The Island Junior Hockey League regular season concluded on Sunday.
The Eastern Maniacs edged the Arsenault’s Fish Mart Western Red Wings 6-5 to earn a split of a two-game weekend series at the Eastern Kings Sportsplex in Souris. On Saturday, the Red Wings outlasted the Maniacs 10-6.
Meanwhile, at Credit Union Centre in Kensington, previously Community Gardens, the Sherwood-Parkdale Metros edged the Kensington Moase Plumbing and Heating Vipers 2-1 in a shootout on Sunday night.
The Red Wings’ Jason Gallant had a goal and three assists on Sunday to finish atop the league scoring with 69 points – 37 goals and 32 assists – in 36 games. Gallant finished three points ahead of the Metros’ Tanner Lund (30-36).
Ironically, both matchups were playoff previews. The first-place Red Wings, who finished 25-9-2 (won-lost-overtime losses), will host the fourth-place Maniacs (10-23-3) in Game 1 of the best-of-seven semifinal series at the Evangeline Recreation Centre on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The Maniacs will host the second game in Souris on Friday at 7 p.m.
The third-place Vipers (14-16-6) will visit the second-place Metros (19-16-1) at the Cody Banks Arena in their series opener on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Game 2 is in Kensington on Sunday, March 18, at 7 p.m.
Metros 2 Vipers 1 (SO)
Cale Pierce scored the lone goal of the three-round shootout to lift the Metros to victory.
Pierce, assisted by Nick Currie and Jordan Birt, opened the game’s scoring in the second period, but the Vipers’ Nick Bouchey tied the game with 47 seconds remaining in regulation time. Easton Smith and Riley Gallant drew the lone helper on Smith’s equalizer.
Sam Walsh earned the goaltending win, and Cameron Visser was in goal for Kensington.
Maniacs 6 Red Wings 5
Jonathan Arsenault’s second goal of the game with 1:08 left in regulation time snapped a 5-5 tie. Andrew Campbell (2-2) and Hunter McIntyre (2-1) rounded out Eastern’s scoring. Alex Gallant (2), Arsenault, Jacob MacEachern, Mathan Runnighan, Eddie Jenkins, Riley Jamieson and Tyson McInnis assisted.
Silas Handrahan (2-1), Chasse Gallant (1-2) and Isaac Knox also dented the twine for Western. Lucas Beaulieu, Alex Morrissey and Dawson McCormack assisted.
The Maniacs held period leads of 1-0 and 3-2.
Winning goaltender was Noah Laybolt.
Red Wings 10 Maniacs 6
Down 3-2 after the first period, the Wings scored five times in the second frame and earned a 7-5 edge its wouldn’t surrender. Three third-period goals iced the victory.
Calvin McRae (1-2), Jason Gallant (1-2), Knox (1-2), Handrahan (1-2), Cole Hackett (1-2), Spencer Groom (1-1), Connor Morrissey(1-1), Beaulieu, Alex Morrissey and Abel Arsenault provided the Red Wings’ offence.
Tyler Rose (2), Gallant (2), Blake Jamieson (1-1) and Connor MacIntyre (1-1) had the Maniacs goals. Arsenault, Riley Jamieson and Hunter MacIntyre each chipped in two assists.
Bronson Banks recorded the goaltending win.