With a win and a loss over the weekend, the Sicamous Eagles stayed in their playoff series against the 100 Mile House Wranglers, but still need two wins to tie the series. The Eagles won their first game of the series 2-0 last Friday at the Sicamous and Ditrit Recreation Centre, but lost Saturday, making the series three games to one in favour of the Wranglers.
The game was a defensive struggle with neither team able to score in the opening period. Whether frustration with the game remaining scoreless or a season-long rivalry hurtling towards its conclusion was to blame, a scrum resulting in three penalties for roughing after the whistle and one for interference broke out late in the first.
The second period passed much the same as the first with a single digit shot tally for each team and no goals.
The Eagles broke the deadlock late in the third. With James Gordon of the Wranglers sitting out a high-sticking call in the penalty box, Jordan Sheasgreen got the puck from Justin Hodgson on a play set up by Sebatien Archambault fired it past Jakob Gullmes in the opposing teams net. The Eagles killed a power play with five minutes to go and then had to face a man advantage again in the final minute as the Wranglers pulled Gullmes for the extra skater. Pulling the goalie did not work in the visitors favour as Sheasgreen scored unassisted on the empty net, his second of the game and third of the playoffs.
With their first win of the series under their belts, the Eagles met the Wranglers again the following night but came up short losing 4-2. Echoing the previous nights game, neither team could score in the first.
Sheasgreen picked up his third goal of the weekend, taking advantage of a power play and getting some help from Sean Moleschi and Josh Olson. A few minutes later, Sean Thornton stretched the Eagles lead to two (assisted by Brandon Pelletier). The Wranglers replied with a goal from Nico Hemming before the end of the period.
The Wranglers jumped on a power play five minutes into the final period to tie the game. The tie persisted and tension grew until Hemming scored giving the Wranglers their first lead of the game with less than two minutes to play. Garrett Hilton capped off a win for the Wranglers with an unassisted goal 70 sconds before the final buzzer.
With the seven-game series skewed 3-1 in favour of the Wranglers, the Eagles will have to fight off elimination in each game from here on out.