Sunday, 18 April 2010

East Final Even 1-1

**Updated 04/20/10**

11 hours on a bus can help bring perspective to one of the strangest overtime endings in my time in the Western Hockey League.

Enjoying a 5-on-3 power-play in overtime, Ian Schultz shoveled the puck past Brandon netminder Jacob De Serres 2:23 into extra time to give Calgary a 3-2 victory and even the Eastern Conference Final at a game apiece.

Scott Glennie was nailed with a checking-from-behind penalty just 44 seconds into extra time while Alexander Urbom has hit with a high-sticking penalty just 29 seconds later.

The Urbom call, in particular, left a lot of room for doubt as video replays seemed to indicate the puck hit Ian Schultz in the face as Urbom knocked it out of mid-air, not Urbom's stick.

Regardless of the feeling on the two penalties in overtime, the end result remains the same.

However, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth after the two teams had battled neck-and-neck through 60 minutes to see a game decided in this fashion.

Tyler Fiddler and Misha Fisenko scored first period goals for Calgary as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes.

Paul Ciarelli, with his first ever WHL playoff goal, and Travis Hamonic scored in the second period for Brandon to tie the game 2-2 through 40 minutes.

The Wheat Kings had plenty of scoring chances early in the third but were unable to capitalize, setting the stage for the game to be sent to overtime.

"I thought we carried momentum for long stretches in the third period," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ's post-game show, "I guess when you look back at it, if we could done something with some of those opportunities, we wouldn't have been in overtime."

Jacob De Serres made 28 saves in the Brandon goal while Martin Jones stopped 24 shots in the Calgary net.

The good news for Brandon is they earned a split on the road to open the series, and now come back to Westman Communications Group Place for Game #3 and #4 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"We're playing well, and that's the main thing," added McCrimmon, "It's going to be a close series, we knew that heading in - it's two good teams. We got a split on the road, which I think is positive. The disappointment comes from the fact we were so close in having a 2-0 series lead."

As disappointing as the Game #2 loss is, it's time to look forward to what will be a critical Game #3 on Tuesday.

Chaff...Brandon dressed the same lineup as Game #1 with G Liam Liston, D Jordan Fransoo, F Jesse Sinatynski, D Darren Bestland and D Ryley Miller being scratched...Schultz's overtime goal snapped a six-game pointless streak for the Calgary co-captain...Tickets for Game #3 and #4 are on sale at the Keystone Centre Box Office (726-3555) and online at

I watched the video of the Urbom high-stick in overtime again Monday afternoon. From what I can see, Urbom's stick catches Schultz on the arm and the puck went straight down to the ice. I have no idea what would have made Schultz grab his face in this sequence of events.

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