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Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Heartbreak at The Palace

By Branden Crowe, 02/13/13, 11:00PM CST

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Fall in OT to La Ronge

La Ronge Ice Wolves 2   Melfort Mustangs 1 (OT)

In what can only be described as pure heartbreak, the Melfort Mustangs lost a pivotal game Wednesday night against the team that is desperately trying to catch them in the standings.

The Stangs put forth a valiant effort in front of  882 people at The Palace but fell 2-1 to La Ronge in extra time.

The Mustangs opened the scoring in the first period on the powerplay when Matt Saunderson ripped home a point shot through a screen.

It was the Mustangs only PP marker in three tries on the night.

The Ice Wolves tied it in the second when Brett McNevin ripped home a lazer beam over the blocker of Jesse Wilkins.

Wilkins and counterpart Myles Hovdebo were fantastic through the remaining twenty and both finished with 36 saves.

The third period saw a flurry of chances for both sides and a number of posts and great stops but neither team could bury.

Just a minute into the extra frame Sebastian Beureguard poked home the game winner after a mad scramble in the Mustangs crease.

The Mustangs did earn a point on the night moving their point total to 41 while La Ronge has pulled even and sit tied in points.

However.... The Mustangs hold the season series vs LA meaning they have the tie-breaker.

Here is how it all breaks down....

MELFORT

41 points
5 games remaining
10 points up for grabs.

La Ronge

41 points
2 games remaining
4 points up for grabs

Scenarios:

A) If La Ronge wins their remaining two games (home and home with Flin Flon) the will finish with 45 points meaning Melfort will need at least 4 points out of a possible 10 to make the playoffs. 

Meaning... Even if LA wins out, Melfort can eliminate them with two wins or 4 points in their remaining five games. (**Tiebreaker)

B) If La Ronge wins only one of their remaining games, they will finish with 43 points meaning Melfort will need just one win or two points in five games to clinch a playoff spot.

C) If LA loses both in extra time, One Melfort win or a combination of two points in their remaining five games clinches a playoff birth.

THE MAGIC NUMBER IS 2 (Wins)!! 

At the end of the day this is going to come down to the wire. The advantage has to be in Melfort's favor due to the games in hand. But it wins won't come easy considering their schedule.

Friday, Feb 15 vs Nipawin (On CK750)
Saturday, Feb 16 @ Flin Flon (On CK750)
Tuesday, Feb 19 @ Nipawin (On CK750)
Friday, Feb 22 vs Yorkton
Tuesday, Feb 26 @ Flin Flon (On CK750)

The Ice Wolves / Bombers home and home isn't until February 21st and 22nd. The Mustangs have 3 games prior to then. A pair of wins or any combination of wins/OT loss/SO loss that results in 4 points would clinch a playoff spot for the Mustangs for the first time in two years. 

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I imagine I made this way more complicated than it needed to be but I hope it makes sense.

Any notable errors can be pointed out to myself at branden.crowe@cjvr.com.