The Warman Midget Wildcats Lynx battled some penalty trouble and came up on the positive end of a 8-5 decision over the Battlefords Barons at the Legends Centre in Warman on March 9.
The matchup was Game 1 of the Saskatchewan Hockey Association (SHA) Provincial A Playoffs north final, which is a two-game, total-goal series.
After one period the Lynx trailed 3-2 and Warman coach Joey Vanneste thought his team could’ve played a lot better.
“Our focus after the first period was to get back to our style of hockey. We didn’t have enough physicality in the first period, and we didn’t have enough shots in the first period.”
Both the Lynx and the Barons brought the physicality in the second period, but a little too much as Warman committed six penalties, while Battlefords 10 of its eleven overall penalties all came in that period.
“The second period was a lot of undisciplined penalties,” Vanneste said. “So I said to them, ‘you’re going to get drawn into a situation where it’s going to make you mad. And you have a choice, you can either turn the volume down , or you can turn the volume up.’ Turn your volume up; that means skate hard, shoot hard, back check, and play physical.”
Despite those penalty troubles the Lynx had a 6-5 lead going into the final period. Warman cleaned up its game in the third period, which led to two more goals.
“I liked our play of our guys in the third period. Definitely much better disciplined and focused on our style of hockey. And we delivered on some results; those two goals were huge,” Vanneste said.
Game 2 of the series is in Battleford on March 17 and Vanneste expects his team to play with desperation even though the Lynx have a three-goal lead.
“With a three goal cushion it’s nice to take it in there, but we still have to go in there determined to play 60 minutes of hockey. We only played 40 (in Game 1), so we need to be refocused,” he said.
“Going into Battleford, that’s their home barn, they don’t want to lose out there. They’re going to be full of energy and I expect their crowd will be into it. We need to go in with a lot of our energy, and ready to play.”