Vipers swept from playoffs

In the end for the Red Deer Vipers, the hole was too deep and the Blackfalds Wranglers too good. The Wranglers beat the Vipers 6-2 to sweep the Heritage Junior B Hockey League North semifinal in four games on Tuesday at the Red Deer Arena.

In the end for the Red Deer Vipers, the hole was too deep and the Blackfalds Wranglers too good.

The Wranglers beat the Vipers 6-2 to sweep the Heritage Junior B Hockey League North semifinal in four games on Tuesday at the Red Deer Arena.

The Wranglers went into the playoffs having lost only two games in regulation all year, while the Vipers used a strong second half to climb into fourth place in the North division.

Still Red Deer had a bit of history on their side with a miracle comeback two years ago against the Wranglers in the North final, rallying from a 3-0 deficit to win the series.

There was no repeat this year.

“After the first period I was pretty heated and thought we didn’t have a very good effort … I said ‘We can’t let them up, can’t give them hope,’” said Blackfalds coach Sean Neumeier. “They turned it around and played two really good periods and dominated them, it was nice to see.”

Trent Hermary scored twice for Blackfalds while Cole Laing, Bryce Boguski, Wally Samson and Aiden Wilson added singles. Thomas Isaman made 30 saves for the win.

Cole deGraaf and Justin Corbett responded for Red Deer while Kyle Munro allowed five goals on 41 shots.

The game was close for 40 minutes, with Blackfalds nursing a 3-2 lead, but they pulled away with three more goals in the final frame, including one into the empty net, to finish the Vipers’ season.

“We lost 6-2, but I don’t really think it was a 6-2 game, we did play good, we just had to push at the end to get that goal and gave up a few chances that we normally don’t,” said Vipers coach JD Morrical.

“It was a good season, it was a good series. Our biggest demise was Game 2, we should have won Game 1 and then played real bad in Game 2 and gave them all the momentum.”

The campaign was a tumultuous one for Morrical, who was brought in prior to the playoffs last year.

This year he spent much of the season trying to bring the dressing room together while juggling three inconsistent goalies. But after Christmas, things started to come into focus for the Vipers.

Still the gap remained between them and their arch rivals from up the highway.

Red Deer only loses a their four 21 year olds to graduation as they build towards hosting provincials next year.

“It was a disappointing finish — Blackfalds has an amazing hockey team, they only lost two games all year — I think we should have been able to give them a better run but they were the better team for sure,” said Morrical.

The Vipers now get the prize of waiting for the winner of the other North semifinal between the Airdrie Thunder and the Mountainview Colts, now tied 2-2 after Airdrie’s 2-1 win on Tuesday.

“I don’t care who we get, I’m pretty confident against both of them, I hope they go seven (games) and we can start on Tuesday,” said Neumeier.

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.
Kenney distances himself from caucus vote to turf dissidents with ‘personal agendas’

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is distancing himself from a decision… Continue reading

Rental units in Red Deer continued to be some of the most affordable in Canada, according to the National Rent Report from (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Red Deer rent up year over year, still among lowest in Canada

Rent in Red Deer is up nearly six per cent but is… Continue reading

Rebels logo.
Red Deer Rebels trade last year’s first overall selection in U.S. Prospects Draft

The Red Deer Rebels have traded their first overall selection from the… Continue reading

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

A used protective face mask is seen discarded on the ground in Vancouver, B.C. in May 2020. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Medical exception letters required for Albertans who don’t wear masks in public areas

EDMONTON — Alberta has moved to close loopholes people might use as… Continue reading

Team Canada’s head coach Troy Ryan talks with players before the start of the of the Rivalry Series at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, February 3, 2020. Ryan of Spryfield, N.S., has been named head coach of Canada’s women’s hockey team for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Troy Ryan to coach Canadian women’s hockey team in 2022 Winter Olympics

Ryan was Canada’s assistant coach from 2016 to 2019

FILE- In this April 19, 2021, file photo, people wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus wait to test for COVID-19 at a hospital in Hyderabad, India. Misinformation about the coronavirus is surging in India as the death toll from COVID-19 rises. Fueled by anguish, distrust and political polarization, the claims are further compounding India’s crisis. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A, File)
Misinformation surges amid India’s COVID-19 calamity

Distrust of Western vaccines and health care also driving misinformation

FILE - In this Friday March 6, 2020, file photo, Britain’s Prince Harry visits the Silverstone Circuit, in Towcester, England. In an episode of the “Armchair Expert” podcast broadcast Thursday, May 13, 2021, Prince Harry compared his royal experience to being on “The Truman Show” and “living in a zoo.” (Peter Nicholls/Pool Photo via AP, File)
Prince Harry thought about quitting royal life in his 20s

Feared his family would have to deal with the same spotlight that was on his late mother

Mental health: Gossiping, backbiting and forming factions is unhealthy

We all know of dysfunctional organizations, which can be as troublesome as… Continue reading

Family practice physician Christina Tuomi, D.O., (right) gets Homer's first dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine from Emergency Department nurse Steve Hughes (left) on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska. Tuomi has been the hospital's medical lead throughout the pandemic. (Photo courtesy Derotha Ferraro/South Peninsula Hospital)
Alberta physicians: Vaccines are our path forward

As the AMA representatives for Alberta’s family physicians, we were immensely relieved… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Nils Hoglander, right, is checked by Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom during third-period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Thursday, May 13, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Lindholm, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Lindholm, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Most Read