Vikings look to make it five straight titles
The Casselman Vikings are headed back to the CCHL2’s Barkley Cup for their third straight appearance and a chance to become a five-time dynasty. The Vikings didn’t do it the easy way allowing the Perth Blue Wings two two-game series leads at 2-0 and 3-1 but battled back to take the series 4-3 in game seven. The Vikings will face the Carleton Place Canadians in the final. Sawyer Helmer photo
CASSELMAN—The Casselman Vikings fought off being eliminated on Wednesday night as they travelled to Perth to take on the Blue Wings for Game 6 of the CCHL2 semifinal and welcomed the Blue Wings for Game 7 on Thursday night.
Vikings 3 Blue Wings 2: The Casselman Vikings welcomed the Perth Blue Wings to the J. R. Brisson Complex on Thurs., March 29, for game seven of the best of seven CCHL2 semifinal. The Vikings survived two elimination games with a score of 6-2 and the latest coming the previous night taking the game 2-1 in overtime in Perth tying the series at three.
With a win by either team, that team would be heading into the CCHL2 championship against the winner of the Ottawa Canadians vs. the Carleton Place Canadians. The Vikings opened the scoring at 12:06 of the first period as Ethan Wensink did all the work dealing the puck for a Blue Wing defender in the left hand corner and skated right out in front of the net untouched tucking it home taking a 1-0 lead.
The Blue Wings tied the game when Matt Knight Bedour scored from Colin Baggio and Joey Laird on the power play at 17:17. The teams took a one-all draw into the first intermission. The Vikings made it 2-1 as Sean David ripped one home from Carter Malette and Wensink at 11:55 of the second period.
The Vikings outshot the Blue Wings 14-8 in the second period but led by just a single goal heading into the second intermission. The Vikings came out in the third period trying to defend a 2-1 lead but it only lasted for 6:19 as Anthony Douchant scored from Alex Caparelli and Baggio tied the game for the Blue Wings.
With 9:47 showing on the clock Brendan Doherty was sprung on a partial breakaway down the right side and he made no mistake blasting one to the back of the net from Yanick Dicaire and Ryan Sabourin giving the Vikings a 3-2 lead. The Blue Wings called a timeout after the Vikings’ David was assessed a slashing penalty to try to calm the troops down for the upcoming power play in a push to tie the game.
The Vikings killed off the power play and gained some momentum back. The Blue Wings tried to force the issue with the Vikings but to no avail. The Blue Wings got a little too aggressive as their defender Tyler Somer sent Doherty flying head first into the boards and was assessed a checking from behind penalty and a game misconduct with just 1:04 remaining in regulation.
The Blue Wings pulled their goalie to make it a five-on-five situation but could not really get set up in the offensive zone as the Vikings hung on for the 3-2 victory. Glove, helmets and sticks went flying through the air as the Vikings took the series in Game 7 and now head to the CCHL2’ s Barkley Cup.
Picking up the win in the Vikings’ goal was Nick Campbell making 28 saves on 30 shots and suffering the loss in the Blue Wings’ goal was Jonathan Peacock making 38 saves on 41 shots.
Vikings 2 Blue Wings 1 (OT): The Casselman Vikings travelled to the Perth and District Arena on Wed., March 28, to take on the Blue Wings in Game 6 of the best of seven CCHL2 semifinal. The Vikings looked to avoid elimination for the second straight game as they trailed the series three games to two. The Vikings took Game 5 6-2 at home and looked to force a Game 7 with a win. The Blue Wings would move on to the CCHL2’s Barkley Cup with a victory.
The teams battled to a scoreless first period as both teams seemed too afraid to make a mistake but the Vikings outshot the Blue Wings 10-8.
The Vikings opened the scoring as Ryan Sabourin tapped after a beautiful toe drag by Sean David past the Blue Wings’ defenseman just 1:24 into the second period. Gabriel Rousselle picked up the second assist on the goal as the Vikings took the 1-0 lead.
The Blue Wings stuck to their game plan of playing the one, two-two defensive style or better known as the “trap” and forced the Vikings to cough up the puck in the centre ice area. The Blue Wings outshot the Vikings 10-8 in the second period but trailed one the scoreboard 1-0 heading into the second intermission.
In the third period, the Vikings also settled back into the “trap” mode but with under four minutes remaining the Vikings were called for a tripping penalty which sent the Blue Wings to the power play. The Blue Wings took advantage as Matt Knight Bedour snuck in from the point and powered one to the back of the net from Joey Laird and Colin Baggio with just 2:52 remaining in regulation.
The goal seemed to breathe new life into the Perth’s offence as they pressed to score the series winning goal as the Vikings seemed a little stunned. The Vikings did however, hold the Blue Wings off the score sheet as time wound down in regulation.
The Blue Wings outshot the Vikings 13-10 as the game headed to a 10-minute first overtime period. In the extra frame, the Vikings pressed for the game winner as there were two scrambles where the Blue Wings’ goalie was swimming for the puck but it was the second one as the Vikings’ Danyk Drouin who found the puck to the right side of the net and backhanded it behind the Blue Wings’ goalie to become the overtime hero just 1:42 in.
Isaac Lavallee drew the only assist on the play as the Vikings took the game forcing a Game 7 back in Casselman. Picking up the win in the Vikings’ goal was Nick Campbell making 30 saves on 31 shots and suffering the loss in the Blue Wings’ goal was Jonathan Peacock making 28 saves on 30 shots.
Up next: The Vikings welcome the Carleton Place Canadians to the J. R. Brisson Complex on Thurs., April 5, for game one of the best of seven CCHL2’s Barkley Cup final at 8 p.m. Game 2 will be at the Carleton Place Arena on Sat., April 7, at 7:15 p.m. and Game 3 will be back in Casselman on Sun., April 8, at 7:30 p.m.