by Stephen Dafoe
The pressure is all on the Morinville Senior AA Kings, after dropping two straight over the weekend in a best-of-five playoff series against the Red Deer Rustlers.
The Kings knew heading into the series that the series would not be handed to them on a silver platter. Red Deer won both games in the regular season against the Kings. A 4-3 overtime win in November for the Rustlers ended the Kings long streak of wins, and the Rustlers took down the Kings 4-2 in the last game of the regular season.
Head Coach Wayne Gatza said the Rustlers were a solid team with a lot of skill but said his team was ready for the challenge.
Saturday night was just not the Kings’ night. Trailing 1-0 after one, the Kings found themselves down 2-1 after two, the club’s only goal of the period and the game coming from Kyle Plett, assisted by Tom Brennan and Jordan Thomas on a powerplay advantage. Tyler Berkholtz pocket the Rustlers’ third and final goal midway through the final frame as an unassisted and shorthanded contribution.
Sunday put the Kings on the road for the rematch, but the outcome was not the one they hoped for. Trailing 4-1 after one, the Kings battled back to trail 6-3 after two and narrowed the gap to within one to find themselves on the losing side of a 6-5 decision.
Morinville will need to win three consecutive games to take the series and advance to the League Championship.
Game three is in Morinville Saturday, Feb. 22 at 8:15 p.m. in Morinville. Game four, if needed, will take place Sunday, Feb. 29 in Red Deer at 7:30 p.m. A fifth and deciding game would take place in Morinville Sunday, Mar. 1 at 3 p.m.