Canadiens win close game against Rangers
After a tough 5-0 loss to the Wainwright Bisons, the St. Paul Jr. B Canadiens made a comeback on Jan. 4, beating the Vegreville Rangers 7-5, in an intense, aggressive game.
The game was a close one that kept St. Paul playing hard offensively and defensively throughout. The first period began with Jalel Abougoche and Tanner Hellquist scoring the first two goals of the game.
But, the Rangers would come back with two of their own ending the first period with a 2-2 tie.
The tie lasted until four minutes into the second period, when Hellquist scored his second of the night, putting St. Paul briefly into the lead at 3-2.
The second period was tense, as St. Paul and Vegreville played neck-to-neck, with Vegreville bringing the score to a tie again, about halfway through the period.
Toward the end of the period, the tie was once again broken, with Jamie Wozniak scoring on an assist from Matthew Ouelett, giving St. Paul another brief lead.
In response, Vegreville kept up the heat, scoring again in the last six minutes, bringing the game to another tie, this time at 4-4.
Vegreville would start the third with a goal and take the lead, and while tensions ran high, St. Paul pushed to get the lead back.
About seven minutes into the last period, Hellquist would score his third of the night causing yet another tie, at 5-5.
Toward the end of the third, Pierre Beaudouin found the back of the Rangers’ net putting St. Paul in the lead again. Keen on gaining back the ground they lost, Vegreville pulled their goalie, and redoubled their efforts.
But, Vegreville’s strategy failed, with Hellquist scoring an empty netter and solidifying St. Paul’s lead at the end of the third. The Canadiens would win 7-5.
“The game was good. It’s always a battle between us and Vegreville,” said Canadiens Assistant Coach Tyson Demoissac. “It’s an old rivalry that goes back 15 years.”
When asked what quality put St. Paul ahead on Saturday’s game, Demoissac said, “The boys never quit. It was a hard fought battle all the way to the end, and they finished it. That’s the one thing with this team – they don’t quit. It was just a really good game to watch.”
“It was great,” agreed Hellquist. “We ran into adversity when they tied it a couple of times back there, but we upped the intensity and scored those couple of goals at the end.”
He added, “It felt good to score those goals tonight. I haven’t scored in a while, so I got that monkey off my back. I got paired up with a couple of good line mates, like my friend Pierre. We developed good chemistry on the ice, and that helped in the last couple of games. It was great to get those two points in the playoff battle at this point, in the season, gaining ground on teams standing ahead of us.”