Tuesday September 30, 2014

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Sports in Prime Time

Tigers advance to WHSHL semis

Kaiten Critchlow/Neepawa Press

Tigers Jesse Adams gets ready to rifle a bouncing puck on net last Wednesday night against the Major Pratt Trojans

The Neepawa Tigers hockey club swept the Major Pratt Trojans over the weekend to advance to the Westman High School Hockey League's semi-finals.

And they've made it there as the only team left in the playoffs without a single loss.
Neepawa will now face off against Crocus Plains in a best-of-three series beginning Thursday night in Brandon at the Optimist rink at 7:30 p.m. after Crocus knocked off the top-seeded Glenboro/Carberry/Baldur squad.

The matchup is considered the A-side semi-finals or WHSHL league finals. The winner will play in the league finals while the loser gets a second chance in the B-side finals next week.

On the weekend, Neepawa travelled to Wawayseecappo to face the Trojans in the second of their three-game series. The Tigers ended the round early though with a decisive 6-0 win over the Trojans.

Goalscorers were not available.

Last Wednesday, Neepawa scored less than three minutes in to the game and didn't give up the lead throughout as they rolled to a 9-2 victory by the time the final buzzer rang.
Heading in to the game the scoreline was expected to be tighter, with NACI coming in as the second seed and the Trojans as the third, but the end result showed a different storyline. Tigers coach Mike Adams attributed that to his players coming out of the gate hot and continuing the momentum.
"We got off to a good start," Adams said. "Grant Graham made some key saves early on that allowed us to keep the pressure on them until we started to put some points on the board."
The coach also pointed out the difference in scoring didn't show a difference in the teams' abilities, but rather it showed how his players were able to do what was asked of them.
"This has been the real first test of the playoffs so far and we thought the guys responded with a good effort," Adams said. "Pratt has an explosive first line and we were able to limit their chances."
Riley Kolesar exploded for four goals, Dylan Link put away two and Bret Levadoski totalled one goal and three points. Kyle McDonald and Braedon Mitchell rounded out the scoring with one apiece.
NACI was set to play Major Pratt in the second game of the best-of-three series last Friday night in Russell. Results were not available by early press deadline last week but are available online at neepawapress.com.


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