The NACI Tigers hockey team dropped one game but rebounded to dominate the next two in recent games.
On Dec. 11, the Tigers fell victim to a poor second period effort against the Virden Golden Bears.
“We came out of the first period controlling the game, only giving up a couple shots,” coach Gary Salmon said. “Virden came out very strong in the second and caught us on our heels.”
That second period saw Virden outscore Neepawa 5-1 after a scoreless opening frames. Neepawa's lone goal in the period was scored by Rylin Mitchler.
The Tigers rebounded in the third period, controlling the play again.
Wyatt Salmon and Shane Levandosky both scored to bring NACI within two goals with over six minutes remaining, but the Tigers weren't able to find the net again in a 5-3 loss.
“It's a good lesson for the team to realize that, regardless the opponent, we need to go out and commit to playing at 110 per cent for the full 60 minutes,” Salmon noted.
That lesson was apparently taken to heart for the Tigers' next two games, as they won them by a combined 18-2 score.
“We played some very strong, dominating hockey,” Salmon explained.
Friday, Dec. 13 the Tigers topped Hamiota 9-1, and Sunday, Dec. 15 they dominated the Glenboro/Carberry/Baldur Wildcats by an identical 9-1 score.
Shane Levandosky led the way against Hamiota with an amazing 7-point night off six goals and one assist. He added a one-goal, four-point night against the Wildcats for a two-game total of 11 points.
Meanwhile, Wyatt Salmon totalled 8 goals and 10 points over the weekend, while Garett Rempel added 9 points off 2 goals.
Brady Plett and Brett Kozak each registered a win in net for the games.
NACI was scheduled to play Dauphin in Neepawa this past Friday and on Saturday against Major Pratt in Russell before heading into the Christmas break until January.
Prior to those two games, NACI sat tied for second place in the WHSHL - only one point behind league-leading Dauphin - with a 7-1 record.
As of Sunday, Dec. 15, Brady Plett is second in the WHSHL with a 1.6 GAA, while Kozak sits seventh with a 2.16 GAA.
Wyatt Salmon and Shane Levandosky are tied for second in league scoring with 22 points. Garett Rempel and Bryson Kaye - both with 15 points - are tied for 8th in league scoring.