FTLComm - Tisdale - March 9, 2000
The Pasquia Senior Hockey League's final play-off series got under way last night as the Kinistino Tigers, who had gone the full seven games with Birch Hills, began their best of seven series with the Tisdale Ramblers who had completed their semifinal series with Nipawin in five games. It was easy to see that the Tigers were at the top of their game and the Ramblers were more then a little rusty after having been off the ice for more then a week.

With both Farber brothers out of the Rambler line up the smooth attack lines used to dispatch Nipawin were not available and the Tigers after suffering two goals in the first period and only one reply, took command of the second period putting in two unanswered goals. The picture at the top of the page shows things early in the third period with the Ramblers trailing by one.

Referee Kerry Holien had some problems controlling the game as the second period was almost entirely played with one or both teams short of players. The Tigers play a fairly physical game and Holien seemed prone to ignore slashing and hooking to the point that players from both teams were taking far to many retaliation penalties. It wasn't only on the ice that there was a need for control but three uniformed RCMP made their presence known threatening at one point to escort an over exuberant fan to cells if he did not clean up his language. Tisdale is one of the most laid back hockey crowds in Saskatchewan so boisterous cheering seems almost out of place in the RecPlex.

The Kinistino fans with that one exception were solid supporters of their team urging them on to victory and at times expressing their frustration with centre line off sides and shared with the Tisdale fans, concern about the referee's selective vision which might in part have been related to the play slowing considerably in the second period. Tisdale's traditional hard skating fast moving game was slowed somewhat from being off the ice for a while and the chippyness of the second period seemed to add to the problem.

Ryan Turcotte set the stage for the Rambler's success with five minutes into the first period Scott Kearns received a pass from Jordan Spagrud, he flipped in front of the goal and Ryan who was a man on a mission scored the game's first goal.

A minor controversy took place when there was a lengthy conference between officials and the goal judge over a play that was ruled not a goal as the goal had been dismounted prior to the puck going in. It was this incident that prompted the need for the RCMP to assert some decorum in the stands.

After Mike Skene made a clever goal with seven minutes left in the first period from a pass from Stefan Cortmat it was Ryan Turcotte's turn to take a pass from Jim Fafonoff and put it on the stick of Jordan Spagrud to make it two to one at the end fo the first.

The second period, as mentioned was not pretty with double minors and generally scrambly play but in the first part of the second Sean Beaulieu scored once from Cortmat and Deobald, then Mike Skene got his second goal of the game from a pass from Lonny Deobald, ending the second with the Tigers leading three to two.

But the third period was time for the Ramblers to dust off some of their patented and hard to defend against plays. With six minutes left in the game Chad Olson got free at the Red line and made a dash for the goal, though he was upended the puck made it into the net just before he did. Chad had been delivered the puck by Scott Homstol and Shane Magnus. The picture on the right was taken only seconds before that goal was made.
Less then two minutes later Scott Homstol put in goal number five from a pass from Jim Fafonoff. The bruising second period had taken its toll on both teams as Jeremy Markwart reinjured a shoulder and Chad Olson bruised a knee but by the end of the third both were playing regular shifts.
As the clock ran down and Kinistino's frustration began to build as the Ramblers simply picked up the pressure as the game wore on. The cobwebs were clearing and mechanised passing play in the attack zone was in automatic mode. Some late hits and wild charges from both sides brought the game to the final minute when Kinistino pulled T.J. Lasiuk from his net and the Ramblers tried to get a line on that empty net from the other end of the rink. Three icing calls resulted with the associated stalling in play for the face-offs then with only three seconds on the clock Kinistino was in intense frustration and Neil Elmslie retaliated against Sean Beaulieu. What essentially became a minor brawl as several fights occurred at once then with Pete McAvoy, Lee Morgan, Randy Henson and Stefan Cortmat escorted off the ice, attention was directed to the injured Beaulieu who after a short time was helped to his feet and helped off the ice. Elmslie was given a checking from behind penalty which brings with it a one game suspension. The last three seconds were cleared from the clock and these two teams meet in Kinistino at 8:00 Friday night. (click here to see the game score sheet)