Fans at Crescent Point Place were left upset Sunday night, after what they considered to be a controversial finish to game one of the wild card series between the Weyburn Red Wings and the Melville Millionaires. The Millionaires captured the game with a 3-2 final in overtime, but it was the minutes leading up to the goal which incensed many in the crowd.
As it happens often in overtime, referees Braeden Taylor and Tarrington Wyonzek didn’t make many calls in the extra period. Fans felt there should have been a call made early in the overtime period when Landon Walters was hauled down in the right wing face-off circle of the offensive zone, or when Jeremy Velazquez was the recipient of a high hit when he was coming back to his own end.
The call which was made was a tripping call against Cole Woodliffe in the offensive zone. On the ensuing power play, it appeared Clayton Eisler from the Millionaires checked Walters at the top of the slot, which opened up a lane for Shane Sherban to snap home the game-winner.
“Well, it was a good game, I thought both teams played pretty hard, and it’s too bad it didn’t come down to the two teams to decide who won it,” Red Wings head coach Wes Rudy said after the game.
The Millionaires were the first ones on the board in the game, scoring in the first period. Damien Bentz beat Arik Weersink at the 9:11 mark.
The Red Wings didn’t waste much time replying. On the power play, less than three minutes later, Walters found himself behind the net with the puck. He stepped out, and attempted to pass into the slot, when the puck hit the skate of a Millionaires defenseman, and went in past Colby Entz. Jordan Kazymyra and Cole Woodliffe were credited with the assists.
Neither team would score in the second period, setting up a frantic third. The Wings would be the ones to score first. Walters notched his second of the game, assisted by Kazymyra and Jeremy Velazquez.
The play was generated when Kazymyra came over the blue line and drew in both Millionaires defenders. The three collided together, leaving a loose puck and an open lane for Walters from the left-wing faceoff circle, and he made no mistake in putting it over the trapper on the left side of Entz.
With less than three minutes remaining, the Millionaires pulled Entz in favour of an extra attacker. The pressure was applied on Weersink, and after making a series of spectacular saves, a bouncing puck was redirected in past the goalie by Montana Streit, tying the game up at 2.
Game two of the best-of-three series is Tuesday night in Melville at the Horizon Credit Union Centre. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. You can also catch all the action live on Red Wing Radio, K106, starting with the pregame show at 7:20 p.m.