The Warman Bantam AA Wildcats picked up back-to-back overtime wins over the North East Wolfpack to advance to Round 2 of the Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League playoffs.
Warman was facing elimination during Game 2 of the best-of-three series on March 8 at the Warman Legends Centre, and the Wildcats earned a 5-4 victory to force a Game 3.
The seventh seed Wildcats pulled an upset over the second seed Wolfpack by earning a 4-3 win in Tisdale on March 10.
Warman is now matched up against the Martensville Marauders in the next round, which is a best-of-three series.
Game 2 of the series against North East was a back-and forth contest. The Wolfpack scored early in the first period to take a 1-0 lead. The early Wolfpack lead didn’t affect Warman’s confidence.
“It didn’t matter, because we’ve come back from 1-0 goal deficits all year, “ said Wildcats forward Parker Lalonde.
The Wildcats were able to bounce back and Lalonde scored a breakaway goal to tie the game. Momentum was on Warman’s side because about a minute after the Lalonde goal, Nicholas Fiolleau scored off a rebound to give the Wildcats the lead.
North East tied the game before the end of the period and the score was 2-2 going in the middle frame.
Warman’s Jordan Normand scored the lone goal in the second period and the Wildcats had a 3-2 lead going into the third period.
Even though the Wildcats led at the start of period, Warman still needed to compete with a full effort.
“Sometimes we get a little lazy and get relaxed. But we kept it going and it’s not like we gave them too many chances,” Lalonde said.
The chances the Wolfpack did get they capitalized on, and North East scored two consecutive goals to take a 4-3 lead. However, Warman continued to battle and Lalonde scored the game tying goal on the power play.
The game was still tied after regulation and the Wildcats completed the comeback by scoring in overtime.
The Wildcats played with confidence and, which played a big part in their success.
“We didn’t really get down on ourselves when we let in goals, We kept forechecking the whole time, and nobody was complaining if they didn’t get a lot of ice time,” Lalonde said. “Everyone was pulling their end of the rope, doing what they needed to do to help this team get the win.”