Carter Danczak scored his first of the post season 6:38 into overtime, as the Nipawin Hawks shaded Melfort 3-2 in overtime, in game 1 of the SJHL best of 7 semi final series.
The Mustangs had good momentum to start the game, and scored the game’s first goal, just 8:32 in, as Tristan Frei potted his 5th of the playoffs into an open net, after a bad rebound let out by Hawks goalie Joey O’Brien.
The Mustangs would have a chance to expand their lead with a couple of powerplays, but could hardly get anything going on them, which was a common theme for them on the night.
Nipawin would capitalize on back to back powerplays, as Brandan Arnold’s pointshot was deflected in the shot by a Mustang, and beat Palmer, who was going left to right in the Mustang crease.
Then, just under 2 minutes later, Palmer would let out a big rebound, and Garrett Dunlop would find the open net, to make it 2-1 Hawks.
Dunlop (1g, 1a), Forman (2a), and Arnold (1g, 1a), all had multi point nights for Nipawin.
Nipawin would hit a post in the period as well, and lead after, despite being outplayed and outshot for majority of the period.
The second period was different, as the Hawks were the better team, although there was a lot of times were action was dull, and the game was being played between the blue lines.
Hawks captain Garret Lockeridge was hauled down on a breakaway, resulting in a penalty shot.
The puck jumped on him and he tried to sneak it 5 hole, but Palmer shut the door.
Lockeridge would have another break in the frame, but shot it at Palmer’s chest.
The best chance of the period for Melfort went to Dakota Boutin, who found the puck in the slot, and walked around O’Brien, but he hit the post.
The score would stay 2-1, until in the third, as the Mustangs had 26 seconds of 5 on 3 powerplay time.
That would expire, but on the 5 on 4 session, Adam Fauchoux put a pointshot off a stick in the slot, off the post, and saw his 6th of the playoffs dribble across the line, sending the game to ot.
Nipawin would have a couple chances late, but Richard Palmer shut the door again.
In period 4, Nipawin had the best chance before scoring the game winner, on a faceoff win in the offensive zone by Garrett Dunlop, led to Kris Spriggs being denied by Palmer in front.
On the next faceoff in the Stangs d-zone, Zach Bross would go ahead off the draw, and the puck bounced in the paint as players tied each other up, and Danczak found it, to a stride to his left, and put the backhander home to seal it for Nipawin.
Melfort went 1/8 on the powerplay, and didn’t have many shots or chances on it.
Nipawin was 2/3.
Palmer kept it close for Melfort, making 24 stops, while O’Brien made 33 stops, although a lot were routine saves.
Luc Lemire had 2 assists for the Mustangs in the loss.
game 2 of the series will go on Sunday night in Nipawin.
Puckdrop is 6:00, and the pre-game show will begin at 5:30 on CK750, with Branden Crowe and Colten Yarych.