Saturday April 19, 2014

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Sports in Prime Time


Natives capped by Virden

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Kaiten Critchlow/ Neepawa Press

Native Brayden Cuthbert gets ready to unleash a wrist shot on Virden's net during action in Neepawa last Wednesday night.

Virden 2 - Neepawa 1 (SO) The Natives gave a complete-game effort last Wednesday night but were only able to escape with one point. Had they not have been crippled by a momentum-killing penalty to finish out the third period, who knows if things would have been different. The two squads played to scoreless first and second periods where the sides were evenly matched to open the game but Neepawa started to take control in the second period, including controlling the shot count by a 10-2 advantage. Virden was able to find a goal first though, as they scored just over six minutes into the third period but Neepawa responded with a goal by Drake Lindsay, assisted by Lyndon Soper and Justin Dalebozik, less than three minutes later to tie the game at 1-1. Following the goal the Natives looked to have gained the momentum but with just over eight minutes remaining in the period, Brayden Cuthbert was sent headfirst into the glass courtesy a Virden boarding check, and Kellen MacBlain took exception to the hit. The ensuing one-sided scrap left MacBlain with nine penalty minutes while Virden was only pegged with a two-minute minor for boarding, meaning Neepawa would face a questionable seven-minute penalty kill to finish out the game. They did so without allowing a goal to leave the game tied at 1-1. Overtime solved nothing, but Virden went on to win in an elongated shootout. Corey Koop made 28 saves for Neepawa, while the Natives outshot Virden 35-29. The Natives also stood tall on the penalty kill, ensuring Virden went 0-for-7 on the powerplay. “I thought the penalty kill was the best part of our game,” Koop commented following the game. Lindsay was named the game’s third star while Koop earned first star honours. Attendance was 404.


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