President's Update - March 14th, 2014

Bethune Bulldogs sweep Pennant winners to advance to the League Final….Canucks force a game four against Monarchs....

On Wednesday evening the Bethune Bulldogs defeated the Avonlea Arrows 5-2 and advanced to their first appearance in the final since 2008 and the opportunity to claim the Robert Schultz Cup.The Bulldogs lost to the Wynyard Monarchs in that 2008 series in four games. In that series the Wynyard Monarchs won their first and only championship after joining the league for the 2002-03 season. The Bulldogs joined the Highway Hockey League in 1967 and left during the 1980’s. The Bulldogs came back to us for the 2000-2001 season and have reached the final in 2004 against Southey, 2005 against Avonlea and again in 2008 against Wynyard. After winning two overtime games against the first place Arrows to start this series game three was played on Wednesday evening in Avonlea. One of the keys to beating the Arrows is to score first as Avonlea has a great record when they score first. Scoring first is exactly what the Bulldogs did as defenceman Ryan Funk got them on the board just two minutes into the game. The Arrows would tie the Bulldogs two minutes into the second period on a power play goal off the stick of Calder Neufeld. The Bulldogs would answer back quickly with a power play goal of their own when another defenceman, Joel Kot, would score. Kot would score again even strength three minutes after that goal and the Bulldogs had a 3-1 lead heading to the third period.  The Bulldogs would score on the power play just nineteen seconds into the third period when Mike Reich scored. Shay Neufeld would score to get the Arrows to within two goals four minutes later but that would be it as Mike Reich would score again and the final would be 5-2. The Bulldogs sweep the Arrows 3-0 and now await the winner of the Cupar/Wynyard series.  Each team had eight minor penalties assessed against them in this game and the Arrows also had two misconducts.  Ryan Seibel picks up the win in net for the Bulldogs while Nathan Fischl was in net for the Arrows.

Also on Wednesday evening the defending HHL champions, Cupar Canucks, went into Wynyard and won 6-2 to force a game four in Cupar on Friday.  Brett Boha and Kyle Ermel scored in the first period to give the Canucks a 2-0 lead going into the second period. Justin Schulhauser would score what would end up being the game winning goal halfway through the second period. Chad Mazurak would then score to get the Monarchs to within two goals but Davis Brown would score for the Canucks to make it 4-1 going into the third period. Kyle Ross would put the Canucks up 5-1 before Brett Leffler would score to make it 5-2. Donovan Chow would score an empty net goal and the final score was 6-2. Jamie Wutke picked up the win in net for the Canucks and Dave Perkin would lose his first post season game of the year in net for the Monarchs. The Canucks had ten minor penalties and the Monarchs had nine.

In Provincial ‘D’ action, the Avonlea Arrows play Gull Lake in Avonlea on Saturday evening at 8:00 p.m. A win by the Arrows would force a game three in Gull Lake on Sunday. The Wynyard Monarchs and Bienfait Coalers will replay game two of their Provincial ‘A’ series on Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m. in Bienfait. This replay is due to a ruling from SHA regarding a protest that a player that should have been suspended for game two played for Wynyard. If a game three is required it will be played Monday evening at 8:00 p.m. in Bienfait.


Gerry Tomkins

HHL President


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