The Rosthern Wheat Kings ousted the Unity Lazers 5-2 on February 11 to advance to the next round of the Saskaskatchewan Hockey Association (SHA) Bantam B Provincial Playoffs.
Rosthern entered Game 2 of the two-game, total goal series with a 9-6 lead and the Wheat Kings won the overall series 14-8.
The majority of the Wheat King players haven’t competed in a provincial series before this one and Rosthern coach Derrek Fahl said it was great to see the team get the series win.
“I’m very happy for our players,” he said.
“They played very hard and for a lot of them this was their first provincial series.
“So the fact they could come out, compete, play as well as they did and be rewarded, we’re very happy for them.”
The Wheat Kings got the edge early in the first period after Bradley Hilkewich netted one.
Around the half way point of the period Unity responded with a goal of its own to tie the game.
However, 36 seconds later Rosthern answered back when Jagger Horner netted one off of a wrist shot. That goal restored the Wheat Kings’ lead.
Rosthern led 2-1 after twenty minutes of play.
Early in the second period, Ethan Thomas beat the Unity goaltender as the Rosthern offence was capitalizing on its scoring chances.
Throughout the frame Rosthern did a good job of not letting the Lazers gain much momentum.
“We didn’t worry about the score, we wanted to play our kind of hockey as hard as we could and the results would just look after themselves,” Fahl said.
Late in the period, Thomas netted his second goal of the game and the Wheat Kings lead 4-1 going into the final frame.
In that period Rosthern caught a break as they Wheat Kings found the back of the net short-handed.
“We’ve got a couple of players that are opportunistic and when they pick their spots, they are able to find the back of the net, we were fortunate,” Fahl said.
The Lasers did score in the period but it wasn’t enough as the Wheat Kings had already built a big lead.
During the contest, Fahl noticed that the team stuck to the game plan which lead to the win.
“We were composed, and we didn’t do things that were uncharacteristic for us,” he said.
“We worked hard, played our brand of hockey and they did everything we asked them as coaches and we’re very proud of that.”
Rosthern is matched up against Carrot Rover in the next round of the provincial playoffs and Fahl knows its going to be a challenge.
“We’re going to have to be used to doing things a little quicker than we are,” he said.
“We’re going to have to learn to skate hard every shift and minimize chances against.”