WEST 4 HOST 2
By/Par: Grame Kishiuchi
With both teams looking to pick up their third win and a spot in the semi-finals, the Saskatoon Contacts took on the Gatineau Intrepide. The Contacts got off to a fast start, when Nick Kalnicki banged home a rebound 56 seconds into the game to spot the Contacts a 1-0 lead. Gatineau tried to respond but got too aggressive and found themselves two men down for three minute stretch. They killed it off and turned that momentum into three quick chances and drew a Contacts penalty. The Intrepide struck quickly when François Lebeau took a nice pass and tipped it by Yonkman at 10:45 to even the score at 1-1. Gatineau continued to pressure with two point blank chances, but Yonkman came up huge. The Contacts used Yonkman’s big saves and created some chance at the other end, with Kyle Bortis in alone, but missing wide and drawing a penalty. Gatineau successfully killed off the penalty but the Contacts’ David Richard intercepted a break-out pass and calmly picked the top corner to restore the Contacts lead at 2-1 with 3:05 left in the first. Saskatoon continued to outshoot and out hit the Intrepide, ending the period with a 12-5 lead in shots and a 2-1 lead on the scoreboard.
The second period featured back and forth action and was more closely played than the first. Each team had their power play chances but couldn’t keep any sustained pressure during the man advantages. Both teams had great chances off deflections, with Gatineau’s Guillaume Mailloux tipping one off the crossbar. During the middle portion of the period, the Intrepide had the Contacts pinned in their own end with their relentless fore-check. The tournament’s spotty refereeing continued when Saskatoon’s Ryan Adams was hit from behind into the boards and was later taken to the hospital. There was no penalty called on the play. The irate Contacts calmed down and outplayed the Intrepide the rest of the way, with the period ending 2-1.
The Contacts retained their focus and got off to another fast start, this time 12 seconds in, when Danberg took a pass from Bortis and banged in his own rebound to give them a 3-1 lead. The middle portion of the period was extremely physical and tempers started to rise. Gatineau thought the had a key four minute power play when Contacts defenseman Gryba got call for spearing, but Nicolas Morin negated two minutes of that with a roughing penalty after the whistle. After the power play, Gatineau took another penalty and Saskatoon quickly capitalized. On a 3-on-2 rush, Bortis finished off some great passes by Richard and Danberg by backhanding it over Gougeon’s glove at 12:21 to give the Contacts a 4-1 lead. Gatineau had a chance again thanks to another questionable call and they made it count when Maxim Malette beat Yonkman with a bullet to make it 4-2. That’s as close as the Intrepide got, as the Contacts held on for the win, improving their record to 3-0-1. The Player of the Game for Gatineau was Eddy Martin-Whalen and for Saskatoon, their captain, Cody Danberg (1 Goal, 1 Assist).
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