of The Clarion
The Red Lions are down two games to none to Wilkie in their best-of-five Sask. West Hockey League finals, going into game three Friday night in Wilkie.
The Red Lions dropped their second game of their series in Wilkie last Wednesday 3-2 in overtime after losing game one 6-3 in Kindersley March 11.
They will now play game three in Wilkie Friday at 8:30 p.m., followed by game four, if necessary, in Kindersley Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Coach Wayne Samson said that the guys remain confident and upbeat.
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“It was the same situation against Macklin in our other series and we fought back to win three straight and win the series,” he said. “The guys have that never-say-die attitude and they are all pretty confident heading into game three.”
Samson said that game two was a heart-breaker and it was even tougher watching it from the stands. Samson and Jesse Gramlich were suspended for one game after Gramlich was given a game misconduct after a late hit in game one.
Samson was suspended, because, well, he’s the coach.
He said that it was a different perspective watching from the stands, and thought it was a very positive game.
“Thanks to Curtis Graham for stepping up to go behind the bench for me. The guys are all familiar with him and he did a good job,” he said. “Overall, I think the guys put up a good fight, I don’t want to hear any ‘what ifs’ from the guys and I think they left everything out there. Curtis had the guys fighting hard.
“It was a good hockey game and I’m really proud of the effort that the boys put in,” he said. “There were lots of positives in the game that we can hopefully build on going into game three. We just have to take it one game at a time.”
In that game two, Brett Harrison scored the game winner at the 14:13 mark of the first overtime period to give the defending champions the win.
The Red Lions scored first in the game, with Ethan Wigley scoring from Djay McGrath and Brandon Cummings.
Mike Sittler tied things up late in the period for the Outlaws.
In the second, Brock Harrison scored the lone marker to make it 2-1.
Then in the third, Jesse Ismond tied things up 35 seconds into the third period, with a help from Jonny Calkins.
Luke Sproule stopped 38 of 41 shots in the losing cause, while Jared Herle stopped 37 of 39 shots for the Outlaws.
Shayne Neigum was getting fitted for a knee brace and hopes to be back for game three or four, however it will be a game time decision.