Trojans putter into playoffs
Mustang skater Kyle Devos celebrates following his hat trick goal and team's go ahead goal, late in the third period of today's game against the PCI Trojans at the BDO Centre in Portage la Prairie. (Brian Oliver/The Graphic)
If the Trojans play of late continues, the team's trip to the big dance will be short-lived.
The Portage Collegiate Institute (PCI) Trojans varsity boys hockey team blew a third period lead, while surrendering the game winning goal in the final minute of play, to fall 4-3 to the visiting Prairie Mountain Mustangs in the team's final regular season game prior to playoffs this afternoon at the BDO Centre in Portage la Prairie.
“I don't know why we didn't come prepared, (the effort) wasn't there,” said Chris Delong, head coach of the PCI Trojans, following today's loss. “If we duplicate today's effort, it will be a short playoff series.”
Tied 2-2 after 40 minutes of play, the Trojans were given a stroke of good luck early in the third, as Mustang netminder Christopher Lesage misplayed a PCI dump in behind his net. The puck squirted in front to a wide open Brandon Page who shovelled it into the vacant net to put the home team ahead.
Svan Bazin answered back for the visitors just past the mid way mark of the third before the Mustangs took their first lead of the game.
Kyle Devos received a pass from defenceman Reece Gates in the right face off circle before beating PCI netminder Parker Page over the shoulder to complete his hat trick and team's comeback.
Lesage picked up the win in net for Prairie Mountain, making 26 saves in the process, while Page got dinged with the loss for PCI, surrendering 4 goals on 36 shots faced.
The Trojans enter Zone 4 playoffs losers of three straight and are in tough against a skilled Carman squad that finished second overall in league standings.
The Cougars swept the season series against PCI, winning all three games played 5-2, 3-2 and 10-0.
“We can't even come close to answering the bell playing the way we did today,” said the head coach of the team's upcoming playoff series.
The Manitoba High School Athletic Association has yet to release a Zone 4 playoff schedule, however PCI is expected to begin their series against the Cougars in Carman either Tuesday or Wednesday night.