Red Wings 4 Prairie Thunder 2
The Rosetown Red Wings may have considered themselves underdogs, but in the 2019 Allan Cup quarterfinals, they sure didn’t show it.
They were buzzing all night long, forcing turnovers and capitalizing on chances against the South East Prairie Thunder in the Senior AAA National Championship.
“We came in with the attitude if we played harder than the other team, we were going to win. That was our gameplan,” said Rosetown captain Jordan Johnston, who had another goal, his fifth of the tournament in the win Thursday.
“We’ve seen them play, we know they’re skilled and we knew if we worked hard we could get under their skin and play our game and that would be good for us.”
Rosetown advanced with a convincing 4-2 victory over the Prairie Thunder, thanks to a 39-save performance from 21-year-old netminder Nik Amundrud.
After Brody Hoffman played the opening two games of the championship, Rosetown turned to the young puckstopper and he was steady throughout, including 17 saves in the final 20 minutes to preserve the win.
“He’s very capable of absolutely stealing a game,” Johnston added.
“At points, he did for us. I’ve seen him at times this year step in and rob a game. So that’s always a nice feeling, knowing you have a guy capable of doing that back there.”
Johnston scored the only goal of the first period, blasting a rebound past Steve Christie and extending his goal-scoring streak to three games. He leads the tournament with four goals and seven points.
Jared Jagow extended the lead in the with a nifty deke and backhand blocker side, before Kyle Ireland tapped in a loose puck to make it 3-0.
The Prairie Thunder conjured up a little life late in the second when Devon LeBlanc buried on the power play.
That momentum was short lived though, as Zachary Zadorozniak scored 5:38 into the third period to extend the Rosetown advantage.
South East had a chance late, with their goalie out plus a power play in the final two minutes, but Amundrud shut the door for his first ever Allan Cup win.
“The guys were getting in front of some pretty heavy shots, you don’t see that very much in this hockey, so I’m pretty proud of the boys,” said Amundrud.
Next up for Rosetown is a tall task, squaring off against the Allan Cup Hockey West champs, the provincial champs and host Lacombe Generals.
“It will be really cool. Obviously playing against them all season, we developed a rivalry. We split the series with them, it will be a fun game,” the Red Wings netminder added.
For Johnston, staying level headed in such an emotion-driven game Friday will be the key to victory.
“Try to contain the emotions. We know they’re going to come in really fired up. We’re going to be fired up,” said the Red Wings captain.
“They like to play us, we like to play them. It’s a battle, we know that going in. Keep your head, forget all the little battles we’ve had throughout the year with them. Just try to play smart.”