Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mills Even Series With Vipers:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Mills even series with Vipers

by Don Klepp | Added 2010-03-14

A spirited effort by the Quesnel Millionaires delighted 1,000 fans in Quesnel Saturday. Three goals off turnovers were enough to defeat the Vipers 3-1.

The Vipers had 21 scoring chances of their own, in a game that featured frequent end-to-end action and fierce battles for pucks all over the ice. In other words, it was a classic playoff hockey game.

The Vipers had more of the play in the second period, but were unable to add to their 1-0 lead. That lead was fashioned by a Cole Ikkala power play marker with 22 seconds remaining in the first period.

Instead, the Millionaires jumped into a 2-1 lead with goals by Josh Desmerais and Clayton Chessa. Both resulted from turnovers in the Viper zone. The Desmerais goal came early, at 1:31, and Chessa’s individual effort beat Blake Voth high on the stick side at 11:36.

In between the Quesnel goals, the Vipers generated four gilt-edged chances, but were stymied by Kirby Halcrow, who rebounded from his previous evening’s so-so performance.

With the Vipers pressing in the third period, the Mills added to their lead at 11:35. The line of Taylor Holst, Trever Hertz, and Justin Hogan cut off a Viper rush at centre and wheeled back the other way. Blake Voth stopped shots by Hogan and Holst, but Hertz deposited a juicy rebound into a half-empty net to send the capacity crowd into a frenzy.

The Vipers kept pressing, and came within a whisker of scoring several times in the remaining minutes. However, this evening was for the Millionaires and the community of Quesnel to savour.

The series now becomes a best of three, with the next games in Vernon on Monday and in Quesnel on Tuesday.

Riding an emotional high, the Millionaires have become a legitimate contender in the BCHL playoffs. They now have become a strong three-line hockey team backed by a hot goaltender.

The Vipers continued to roll four balanced lines, but Mark Ferner moved some players around in order to find the combination that would unlock the Quesnel defensive wall. Sahir Gill was reunited with the Jones twins and some of their 2008-09 magic was clearly on display.

David Robinson moved from the Jones line to join Rob Short and Cory Kane. Also, in the third period two combinations that had been successful earlier in the season were reunited – Jon Milhouse rejoined Braden Pimm and Mike Collins while Cole Ikkala skated with Dylan Walchuk and Bryce Kakoske.

If Saturday’s game is any indication, the remaining games in this series will feature highly competitive BCHL hockey. Make sure to get your tickets for the Monday game!

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