Team Alberta rode a second-period scoring blitz to a crucial win over Team New Brunswick.
Alberta scored four-times in the middle frame Wednesday and rolled to an 8-3 quarterfinal win over N.B. With the victory, Alberta advanced to the semifinals Thursday of male hockey at the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
“I’m proud of the bounce-back in the second period, but we’ll have to bring a better all around 6o minute game (Thursday),” Alberta head coach Bobby Fox said.
They had a pair of special teams’ goals in the second period, as Matt Savoie sniped on the power play and Craig Armstrong had a slick dangle on a short-handed breakaway. Tyson Laventure and Brett Hyland also scored in the second.
The opening frame was a bit of a different story for Alberta, as New Brunswick matched them stride for stride in the first.
Laventure notched his first of the night 3:08 into the game, but Evan Nause responded for NB 59 seconds later.
Edmonton Oil Kings prospect Dylan Guenther pulled Alberta back ahead on the power play another 61 seconds after the N.B tally, only to have the visitors knot the game up again 16 seconds later. Savoie scored his first of the night midway through the first and finished with four points.
“It’s been getting better as we go on, getting more comfortable with the level of play. Been getting better and faster, it’s great,” said Savoie of his game at the tournament.
Alberta added another power play late in the first but Cole Huckins beat Lochlan Gordon with 11 seconds left in the period to cut the deficit to a goal.
“When the first shot is a breakaway we’re not committed to a team game and that was the message in the first intermission. You left a guy out to dry and we just had to pick it up,” said Fox.
Gordon allowed three goals on eight shots in the first and was replaced by Drew Sim of Tees in the second.
Alberta outshot New Brunswick 16-3 in the second and finished with 51 shots on the night.
“We’re getting closer, we’re just inconsistent,” Fox added.
“There’s some good things we’re doing. We play Ontario (Thursday), I don’t think we can go skill versus skill, we’re going to have to will one out. Starts from the first battle, first faceoff.”
They will play Ontario Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Centrium.