The Wetaskiwin Icemen Hockey Club will move on to the Semi-Finals after sending the Fort Saskatchewan Hawks packing in Capital Junior Hockey League playoff action last week. The Icemen won the last three games in a row to take the best of five Quarter Final series three games to one. This past week put the icing on the cake for the Icemen as they won by scores of 7-4 and 7-2. The Icemen now move on to the final four and will face the St. Albert Merchants.
On Wednesday playing the third game of a series which at that point was tied at a game each, the Icemen took the bull by the horns and cruised to a 7-4 win in front of hometown fans. The Icemen scored five first period goals alone to make it 5-0 at the end of the first. Three of the goals were on the powerplay. Goal scorers were DJ Bennefield, Danton Ayotte, Kevin Liner, Corey Bowie and Jordan Howe. In the second the Hawks scored one followed by another powerplay goal by Icemen Keaton White making it 6-1.
The third period had the Fort Saskatchewan Hawks scoring three in a row followed by a powerplay marker by Dylan McKay of the Icemen to end it at 7-4 for Wetaskiwin. Five out of seven Icemen goals were on special teams even though the Icemen had 160 minutes in penalties and the Hawks had 72. The shot totals were 35-30 for the Icemen with Chris Sharkey playing net for the home team.
Knockout Friday was in Fort Saskatchewan and was another high scoring affair for the Icemen with a 7-2 win. Chris Sharkey was backstopping the Icemen once again. The end of the first came to a 1-1 tie with the Hawks scoring first then Icemen Suede Omeasoo scoring a powerplay goal with 2 seconds left on the clock. In the second the Icemen put three pucks into the net and the Hawks one. Scoring for the Icemen were DJ Bennefield on the PP, Jordan Howe, and Dylan McKay on the PP again.
The Hawks got into further penalty trouble in the third and suffered the consequences of three more Icemen powerplay goals by Suede Omeasoo, Kevin Liner and Danton Ayotte. This game had the Hawks taking 126 minutes in penalties and the Icemen 20.
Penalties dictated goals in the last two games of this series with 11 out of 14 goals scored by the Icemen on the powerplay. The Hawks coaching staff are probably very disappointed in the self discipline their team showed. So far after only playing in the second round of the playoffs the Icemen have 6 players in the top 25 in playoff scoring with Dylan McKay leading the way with 10 points. After losing out in the Quarter Finals the last two years in a row the Icemen have finally made it to the final four. Next up are the St. Albert Merchants. This next series for the Icemen will be a best of seven with the winner going to the CJHL final.
If you are interested in going to a Semifinal game featuring the Icemen here is the schedule for this week. On Wednesday Mar. 6th 8pm in St. Albert at the Aikinsdale Arena, Friday Mar. 8th 7:30pm at Wetaskiwin Civic Centre and Sunday Mar. 10th 8pm in St. Albert. Come on out and support your local hockey team. This is very exciting hockey and these boys deserve a full house after what they have achieved so far this year. Good luck Icemen and remember Punch Imlach’s old saying “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”
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