May 19, 2022
The Red Lake Miners might have gotten the start they were looking for as the Tim Horton’s Centennial Cup got underway in Estevan, Saskatchewan, but it went downhill after that – and pretty quickly – with the final score being a 9-2 pounding at the hands of the OJHL champion Pickering Panthers.
After a strong opening two shifts that saw the Miners establish some time in the Pickering zone, the Panthers opened the scoring at 3:28 of the first period with Lucas LaPalm receiving a pass in the slot from Alex Papaspyropoulos and converting to make it 1-0.
Then, the Miners became victims of a quick whistle as a seemingly harmless shot off the stick of Mathieu Belanger trickled through the equipment of Panthers starting goaltender Zachary Roy and was left open in the crease. Red Lake pounced on the loose puck and banged it home, but the goal was disallowed as the official had blown the whistle expecting the puck had been frozen.
As good teams often do, Pickering took full advantage of the break and potted two more in rapid succession – first from Elijah Pilosof and just 24 seconds later from Dustin Hutton at 7:02 of the opening frame.
Hutton’s goal ended the afternoon for Red Lake starting goaltender Kiev Kineshanko who was lifted in favour of backup Jaxon Taupert, having allowed 3 goals on 7 shots.
The move seemed to spark the Miners, who responded less than two minutes later on the power play, with Brady Harroun finishing off a passing play with assists from Noah Kramps and Lucas Piekarczyk to cut the deficit to two.
Red Lake couldn’t build on it though, allowing Pickering to get the tally right back a mere 12 seconds later, and the lead was back to three.
Harroun would pot his second of the night about 90 seconds later with a top corner shot that eluded Roy to once again shave the Panthers lead to two at 4-2.
In what proved to be the back breaker, with Miners’ Albrecht in the box for charging, Belanger found himself in all alone shorthanded on the Panthers’ goal. Roy stood his ground and made the critical stop, and the Southern Ontario squad literally took the puck back up ice and converted on the rush seconds later. Ian Martin was credited with the power play goal.
The two-goal swing on the play proved to be a dagger from which the Miners could not recover.
The first period ended with the Panthers leading 5-2 on the scoreboard, and 14-8 in the shots column.
The Miners used the intermission to settle themselves down, and were much more focused in the second period. Panthers’ Jacob Partridge notched the only tally of the period at 6:54. Shots were 13-12 in favour of Pickering in the second.
Any hopes of a miraculous comeback were dashed early in the third when the Panthers scored twice int he opening three minutes of the frame to ensure the game was out-of-reach for the Miners.
to re the game was barely seven minutes old, the Panthers struck twice in rapid succession – first it was Partridge again at just the 25 second mark, and then Martin again at 2:47. Ethan Doyle rounded out the scoring at 7:43
Final shots were 38-31 for Pickering. Each team went 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
Brady Harroun was named the player of the game for the Miners.
Red Lake has an off-day on Friday before tangling with the AJHL champion Brooks Bandits on Saturday. Game time is 1:00pm central.