The Falher Pirates are moving on to the second round of playoffs after winning four straight games against the Manning Comets in the first round.
The Pirates hosted the Comets for game three of their playoff series in the evening of Feb. 3. Assistant Coach Dan Aubin acknowledged the Comets’ determination, but also that his team didn’t give up.
“It was hard play,” says Aubin. “But the guys didn’t give up when they were down and (they) stuck with the game.”
The coaches were looking for more of the same from the team when they travelled to Manning for game four on Feb. 6, he adds.
The Comets dominated the first period with two goals. During five-on-three play at 6:24, Tyler Dillman scored the first goal with assistance from Deryk Whitehead.
At 17:45, Dillman scored his second goal of the game on the power play. Bo Asmussen received the assist. The score was 2-0 in favour of the Comets at the end of first period.
But the Pirates were back in the game at 1:30 in the second period when Brian Sommers put the puck in the attic. Nathan Smith received the assist.
Then the Pirates tied the game at 8:09, with Dakota Mason scored and Trevor Mazurek and Darren Brochu received the assists.
However, Dillman scored the Comets’ third goal at 8:42, putting the team ahead again, with Steven Kover and Mason Blais assisting.
Nonetheless, the Pirates came back again to the the game. Smith flicked the puck into the net at 13:30, and Joel Pellettier and Brian Sommers assisted.
The second period ended in a 3-3 tie.
The Pirates took over the game in the third period, although the Comets had the five-on-three scenarios a couple times where they could have turned the game in their favour.
Dakota Mason scored the Pirates’ fourth goal at four minutes, with Nathan Smith assisting.
Eight seconds later, Brian Sommers scored the team’s fifth goal. Dallas Brochu and Nathan Smith collected the assists.
Then the Comets acquired back-to-back two-man advantages and they agressively moved the puck around for a clear shot, but in neither scenario were they able to score.
Then with less than a minute remaining, Kahilin Marsolais scored the Pirates’ sixth and final goal, with Mason collecting the assist. Check the Smoky River Express’ Facebook page for a video of the goal.
The Pirates won the game by a score of 6-3. Shots on goal for the game were 48-35 in favour of the Pirates.
The Falher Pirates travelled to Manning on Feb. 6 for game four of their playoff series.
The Pirates won the game by a score of 9-4, to take a 3-1 lead in the series. So it was back to the Falher Regional Recreation Complex on Feb. 8 for game five.
Goaltender Talon Walton would figure large in game five for the Pirates. He would shoulder a heavy burden to ensure victory for the team.
Both teams battled hard for the puck in the first period. They were evenly matched for the first 10 minutes.
At 9:51, Jeff Chalifoux put the Pirates on the board when he flicked the puck into the net. Darren Brochu assisted on the play.
Right after that, the Comets made repeated attacks on the Pirates’ net, coming close several times to scoring the equalizer.
Nonetheless, the score remained 1-0 in favour of the Pirates at the end of the first period.
The Pirates averted disaster numerous times in the second period, as they suffered one penalty after another.
Again, the Comets were there for the onslaught, seeking every opportunity to even the score. and they very nearly succeeded.
But the Pirates survived each attack and the score remained 1-0 in their favour at the end of the second period.
The third period proved decisive for both teams, with the Pirates catching the Comets on the back skate right at the start.
Trevor Mazurek score the Pirates’ second goal at 32 seconds on the power play. J.M. St-Pierre and Dallas Brochu assisted.
Less than a minute later, Pat Rowan added the team’s third goal, with Dakota Mason assisting.
The Comets managed to rally a few minutes later, when Tyler Dillman scored a short-handed goal at 8:15. Dillman was unassisted.
But J.M. St-Pierre took away any momentum they had when he scored the Pirates’ fourth goal at 14:15. Nathan Smith assisted on the play. Check the Smoky River Express’ Facebook page for a video of the goal.
With the clock running out, the Comets pulled their goalie and put an extra attacker on the ice. However, despite several attacks on the Pirates net, they couldn’t come back.
The Pirates won the game 4-1 and this series.
Next, the Falher Pirates go up against the High Prairie Regals in the next playoff series, starting Feb. 15.