Neepawa Farmers eliminate Cartwright in dramatic fashion



By Eoin Devereux

The Neepawa Banner/Neepawa Press

An amazing offensive push in the final few minutes of the third period has propelled the Neepawa Farmers into the next round of the Tiger Hills Hockey League playoffs. Lance Nugent scored a pair of goals in the final 1:49 to lift the Farmers to a 3-2 win over the Cartwright Clippers on Saturday, Feb. 25. This late comeback gave Neepawa a four games to one series victory. 

The majority of the game featured strong performances from both benches. After two periods though, it was Cartwright which held the 2-1 advatage, off a pair of goals from Bryce Enns. Rhett Law scored the lone goal for the Farmers.

For most of the third period, the Clippers were able to keep Neepawa off the stat sheet, with goaltender Troy Chandler making some big saves. On the other end of the ice, Neepawa’s Brady Plett was also called upon several time to make a key stop and keep the Farmers within striking distance. 

Then, with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, Neepawa pulled Plett to allow for the extra attacker. That additional pressure seemed to pay off, as Lance Nugent scored their tying goal, with just 1:49 left in the third, seemingly sending the game into overtime. In an unexpected turn of events, however, Neepawa was able to push into the Cartwright zone with just 24 seconds left in the period and blast another shot into the back of the net, sending the Neepawa fans into a frenzy. 

The game took an unfortunate turn with just a few seconds left, as Cartwright’s Bryce Enns slashed a Neepawa player across the arm, setting off  an on-ice scuffle between both lines. These events ended up getting Bryce and Jesse Enns, along with Rhett Law sent off early. After that, the final few seonds ticked away without incident, allowing Neepawa to win the game and the series.

The next challenge for the Farmers will be the Carberry Plainsmen, who defeated the Minnedosa Bombers in the other eastern division semi final four games to one. A start date for that best-of-seven series had yet to be confirmed by the Press publication deadline. Once those dates are set, they’ll appear in the Friday, Mar. 3 edition of the Neepawa Banner.