Carberry Plainsmen stun Neepawa Farmers



By Eoin Devereux

The Neepawa Banner/Neepawa Press

Likely the biggest takeaway for the Neepawa Farmers from game one of the Tiger Hills Hockey League eastern final is that the Carberry Plainsmen deserve to be here. Going into the matchup on Thursday, Mar. 2, there had been a few rumblings that Carberry were here simply due to facing a depleted Minnedosa Bombers squad in the previous round. The Plainsmen quickly put that rumour to rest by outskating, outscoring and ultimately, outplaying, Neepawa on the way to a 6-3 win.

This game saw Carberry come out quickly by scoring just 66 seconds into the first, as Brock Sutherland slipped one past Curtis Nelson. While Neepawa’s Ian Kerkowich answered back five minutes later, It was Carberry who spent the majority of the period pushing the tempo and creating scoring chances.

In the second period, the figurative floodgates broke open and swept Neepawa away, as Carberry scored four times. One of those goals was a shorthanded tally, with just three seconds left in the middle frame. Two of those goals, including the last second score, were from Mitch Doell. Dylan Kelly and Michael Reykdal registered the other markers. This offensive onslaught had the Plainsmen heading into the final 20 minutes of regulation with a 5-1 lead.

Neepawa started the third period with energy and that paid dividends on the scoresheet. Lance Nugent put away a goal early in the period. Though it took some time, Matt Lowry was able to follow that up with one of his own, with just 2:57 left in regulation, making it 5-3. Any glimmer of hope for a comeback was quickly extinguished, however, as Dustin Fisher scored for Carberry just 31 seconds after the Neepawa goal. That closed out the scoring, as the Plainsmen took game one in the best-of-seven series, while also stealing away home ice advantage.

Brendon Reimer earned the win between the pipes for Carberry with a stellar performance. Brock Sutherland and Mitch Doell also lead the way, with four and three points respectively for the Plainsmen. On the Farmers’ side of the stat sheet, Lance Nugent generated a goal and an assist, while Ryan Menei added a pair of assists. Matt Lowry and Ian Kerkowich also added goals.

Game two of the series will be played at the Carberry Plains Community Centre on Saturday Mar. 4. Start time is set for 8:00 p.m.