Neepawa beat Gladstone in stunning fashion


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While Matt Kohlman put in a 46 save effort for Gladstone, he and the Lakers still fell 9-6 to Kyle McDonald & the Neepawa Farmers on Friday, Mar. 9. McDonald had three points (2G - 1A) on the night.

By Eoin Devereux

Neepawa Banner & Press

A disastrous series of events, some self inflicted, ended up costing the Gladstone Lakers the third game of their Tiger Hills Hockey League eastern division series against the Neepawa Farmers. Gladstone surrendered seven goals in the last 20 minutes of action at the Yellowhead Arena on Friday, Mar. 9, to lose 9-6.

Those seven goals includes four in the final 3:01 of the period. Worst yet, three of those final four were given up while the Lakers attempted to kill off penalties. It all added up to a shocking win for the Farmers, who now trail the best-of-five series 2-to-1.

Early on in the game on Friday, it appears as though Gladstone would easily finish off Neepawa in three straight. Lyndon Soper, Dave Walker and Jordon Geddes all scored in the first, giving the Lakers a 3-0 lead.

Neepawa clawed back in the second, as Kyle McDonald and Matt Lowry scored early in the period. Sean Kubas, however, added one more for Gladstone at the mid-point of the game, to make it 4-2 heading into the third.

A Drew Selin goal at 5:30 of the third appeared to seal the win for the Lakers, but Neepawa simply pushed back with third straight goals of their own in just a 2:06 span. McDonald, Lowry and Ward Szucki notched those efforts, tying the game at 5-5. 

Jesse Paradis added the sixth of the night for the Lakers with just 6:49 left in regulation, once again giving Gladstone the lead. But then, with the season in the balance, Neepawa simply pressed forward with wave after wave of offensive rushes into the Gladstone zone. This torrid pace eventually forced Gladstone into some ill-timed penalties. After the first couple penalties and surrendering the tying goal, the Lakers lost their focus and stumbled down the final stretch. Szucki would put away two more goals, while Reigan Buchanan and Riley Kolesar each added one apiece, to make it a 9-6 final.

Though tagged with the loss, Gladstone goaltender Matt Kohlman had an amazing night, making 46 saves, some of which, were in spectacular fashion. Brad Nelson’s night was a little lighter than Kohlman’s, but the Neepawa goalie still came away with 26 saves in the win. 

The victory was Neepawa’s first in this best-of-five. With the Lakers still holding on to a 2-games-to-1 series lead, game four will be played tonight in Gladstone at 8:00 p.m. If Neepawa manage to win that game, the fifth and deciding matchup would be played at the Yellowhead Arena on Sunday, Mar. 11 at 7:30 p.m.  

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