Martensville 15AA Marauders Chance Regush pulls away from a Bridge City Blues defender during the game played at Martensville Arena on Sunday, January 21

Last Sunday’s 15AA matchup in Martensville between the host Marauders and Bridge City Blues felt like a Game Seven Stanley Cup playoff nail-biter.

Martensville won the game 5-4; but it was the intensity level of the contest that was the real story.

Each pass, each hit, each shot had an extra feel to it; and the goal celebrations were epic. It was obvious the two teams have developed a bitter rivalry, and this was no ordinary game.

Martensville head coach Ron Biderdorf summed things up this way:

“We certainly have a rivalry with Saskatoon and with Regina too,” said Biberdorf. “There are three or four teams that are emerging at the top; no one wants to drop a game because each one is big. Between Saskatoon and Regina every game is a one goal game and a turnover here or there will make a difference.”

The Marauders celebrate a goal

In Sunday’s back and forth game, the Blues drew first blood and held a 1-0 lead after period one.

Martensville took a 2-1 second period lead on goals by Broden Wotherspoon and Corbin Nieman.

The Blues regained the lead early in the third on a pair of goals by Payton Inverarity.

Goals by Brendan Jones, Broden Wotherspoon and Parker Livingstone gave Martensville a 5-3 lead.

Saskatoon tallied a poweplay marker in the final minutes, but could not get the equalizer as the game ended in a mad scramble in front of Martensville’s net.

Biderdorf explained the steps taken in the third period comeback effort.

“Saskatoon was really taking the middle away from us.  They plugged us up early. So we talked on the bench about gaining the zone wide and get the pucks in deep,” said Biberdorf.

“Once the kids started doing that we were able to make the possession down low and get the cycle going.”

The win keeps the Martensville squad firmly in first place with 38 points, ahead of Saskatoon’s 33 and Regina’s 32 points.

The Marauders in action against the Blues on January 21

Biderdorf feels having a strong bench has been a key to their  success.

“We have managed to get some real team depth,” he said. “We don’t have any weak links on the team. Every kid can play.

“We also managed to have some pretty high-end scorers. We can win a close one or we can win a shootout.”

The Marauders have six skaters in the top ten of league scoring, with Broden Wotherspoon  leading the league with 32 goals and 18 assists for 50 points. Chance Regush is not far behind with 16 goals and 29 assists for 45 points. Austin Root (fifth), Brendan Jones (seventh), Parker Livinstone (eighth), and Easton Woytiuk (ninth) round out the impressive list.

The intensity and high level of play speaks volumes of the success of this newly formed league, established to help 15 -year-old players develop skills as they prepare to move on to the U18AAA leagues next year.

“These kids are getting quality time working on their confidence, allowing them take things from practice and do in games,” said Biberdorf.

“Spring is going to be fun for these kids as they go to AAA and Junior A camps and start establishing themselves.”