The Falher Pirates aren’t quite the champions of their playoff series against against the High Prairie Regals.
Their one win away from that achievement.
The Pirates won game two in High Prairie on Feb. 17 by a score of 9-3.
The Pirates hosted the Regals on Feb. 20 for game three, which was a much closer and harder battle than game two.
Nonetheless, the Pirates posted another win, pleasing Coach Taylor Cote.
“Our offence was there tonight and we found the back of the net,” says Cote.
“Our penalty killing was good, especially when it had to be at the end.”
The battle was on in the first period.
The Pirates went on the attack and never let up.
But the Regals gave no quarter either, and brought the attack to the Pirates as well.
Pat Rowan scored for the Pirates at 7:03, slipping the puck into the basement of a wide open net. Khalin Marsolais and Dakota Mason assisted.
But at 8:55, Damien Cardinal put the puck in the attic for the Regals, with Junior Anderson and Eli Cunningham assisting.
However, the Pirates moved ahead again less than a minute later, when Khalin Marsolais scored the team’s second goal. Dakota Mason and Morgan Eaton assisted.
The Pirates were ahead 2-1 at the end of the first period.
The teams ratcheted up their intensity for the puck in the second period. J.M. St-Pierre scored the Pirates’ third goal at 2:44, with Trevor Mazurek and Craig Anderson assisting.
Then it was the Regals’ turn. At 3:12, Gordy Laderoute scored the team’s second goal, with Jacob Anderson and Al Anderson assisting.
But the one-upmanship continued, as Kolton Caron put the puck in the attic at 3:36, and T.J. Cunningham assisted.
Then, at 6:41, St-Pierre put the puck in the basement on the approach, giving the Pirates’ their fifth goal. Craig Anderson shared the spotlight with him.
The Regals got the next two goals.
Travis Cunningham fired the puck into the net at 10:22, with Junior Anderson and Jay Anderson collecting the assists.
Then Mitch Price scored a power play goal at 12:08, with Jacob Anderson and Al Anderson assisting.
Just 13 seconds later, Dakota Mason gave the Pirates their sixth goal of the game. Pat Rowan and Khalin Marsolais assisted on the play.
And at 13:27 Trevor Mazurek put the puck in the living room on the power play. Craig Anderson and Morgan Eaton assisted.
But the Regals had their own power play opportunity less than a minute later. Junior Anderson scored the PPG at 14:22, with Travis Cunningham and Mitch Price assisting.
Nonetheless, the Pirates maintained a 7-5 lead at the end of the second period.
Both teams had to strategize in the third period.
For the Pirates, it was to hold onto their lead.
For the Regals, it was to control the puck and and keep up the pressure in the Pirates’ end.
The Regals appeared to gain momentum by the middle of the third period. Jay Anderson scored a power play goal at 8:39, with Al Anderson and Mitch Price assisting.
However, just 19 seconds later, Trevor Mazurek scored his second goal of the game, putting the puck in the basement.
Craig Anderson assisted.
This gave the Pirates their eight goal of the game.
But the Regals came on strong again just over five minutes later.
At 14:15, Mitch Price put the puck in the attic on the approach, moving the team to within one. Damien Cardinal and Lloyd Ahkim Nachie assisted.
Then, with time running out to even the score, the Regals pulled their goalie and put an extra attacker on the ice.
They moved the puck around in the Pirates’ end, looking for the right moment to fire it into the net. Several times, they nearly found their mark, but it wasn’t to be.
The Pirates held on to win the game by a score of 8-7. Shots on goal for the game were 48-40 in favour of the Pirates.
On Feb. 22, the Pirates were within one game of taking the series. They travelled to High Prairie that night for game four.
But while the Regals were down, they weren’t out, and they gave the Pirates some payback.
The Regals dominated the first period with four goals -– Al Anderson and Jacob Anderson each scored a power play goal, while Lloyd Ah-Kin-Nachie scored regular goals.
The Regals added two more in the second period, one each by Jay Anderson and Mitch Price.
The Pirates managed three goals in the second period. Craig Anderson and Jeremie Perron each scored on the power play while Dakota Mason scored a regular goal.
The Pirates finished the game with one more goal in the period, which Dakota Mason also scored.
The Regals finished with three more goals. Eli Cunningham scored on the power play, while Jay Anderson and Austin Doan scored one each.