Sports Local Hockey

Caps can't close Game 3

By Aaron Wilgosh, The Graphic

The Central Plains Capitals will have at least one more game this series after dropping Game 3 to the Winnipeg Wild 3-2 in Winnipeg. The Wild have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series, Game 4 is Thursday in Portage. (file photo)

The Central Plains Capitals will have at least one more game this series after dropping Game 3 to the Winnipeg Wild 3-2 in Winnipeg. The Wild have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series, Game 4 is Thursday in Portage. (file photo)

The boys are going to have to find a way to win in Winnipeg if they want their season to continue.

Central Plains couldn’t hold on to a 1-0 third period lead in Game 3 of their Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League quarterfinal series with the Winnipeg Wild and ended up falling 3-2 to now trail the best-of-five series 2-1.

“Call it inexperience, call it adrenaline or anxiety, whatever you want, a team like that can capitalize in a hurry,” says Caps head coach, Brad Gnidziejko. “(Rhett) Boschman was really good again for us. His poise is incredible, for a 15-year-old, that kid doesn’t seem flustered at all by the situation we’re in. I thought it was the best game we’ve ever played in the Iceplex.”

The Caps managed to withstand the initial push from the Wild in the opening frame, keeping up with the home club in shots with 10. Rhett Boschman looked great in the opening 20 minutes, turning away all 11 shots he faced. There were six penalties in the first but neither team could score on the power play.

The second period was very similar to the first but the Wild took a little more control of the time-on-attack. Capital Cameron Trimble took a holding minor at 6:05, and on the ensuing penalty kill, Tyler Van Deynze made his way down the rink and found the back of the net shorthanded to give the Caps a 1-0 lead. Despite a slight tilt in momentum, the Caps were able to hold off the Wild scorers late in the period to take a lead into the final 20 minutes.

It didn’t take long for the Wild to answer back in the third, and they did it fast and furiously. They exploded out of the gate for three goals in less than three minutes. A quick time-out from Gnidziejko settled the Central Plains players down and they responded in fashion. Alex Cattani scored his fourth goal of the series to get the Capitals within 1. The Wild would hold off a late push from the Caps to take Game 3. Boschman took his second loss of the series with 32 saves.

20 penalties were handed out in all, 11 to Central Plains and 9 to the Wild. Gnidziejko credits the boys for their strong work while down a man but says the power play went cold at a tough time.

“Our penalty kill was great, but we’re not scoring on the power play either,” he says. “You try to make perfect plays but sometimes you just have to get pucks to the net and bang them in. We had 33 on net and it was a great overall effort, we just need to be better defensively and not have those glaring errors for the Wild to exploit.”

Game 4 is sure to be a thriller with the Caps/Wild season on the line. It gets going Thursday night and puck drop is set for 7:45 p.m. at the BDO Centre.


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