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Ryan McCracken photo
Ryan McCracken photo
Mallaig Bantam Monarchs Captain Clay Kwiatkowski fires a puck on goal while two St. Paul Canadiens sprawl out in an attempt to prevent the shot, during Game 2 of a provincial play down series. The game finished in a 3-3 tie, but carried over the score of Game 1, a 6-4 Mallaig win, allowing the Monarchs to advance, with a combined score of 9-7.
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Bantam Monarchs march on with provincial win over Canadiens

Feb 18, 2014 11:15 am | By Ryan McCracken | St. Paul Journal

The season is over for the St. Paul Bantam Canadiens, but the Mallaig Monarchs march on.

Mallaig eliminated St. Paul from provincial play downs last Tuesday night, closing out the two-game series with a 3-3 tie at the Cap Arena after getting a leg up with a 6-4 victory in Mallaig last Monday.

The series is determined by total goals scored across the two games, giving the Monarchs a 9-7 victory, and slating the team against Vermilion in the final round of provincial play downs.

“I’m really proud of the effort they put in,” Monarchs Head Coach Aaron Christensen said of his team’s performance.

Christensen added that the Monarchs were lifted to victory thanks largely in part to a solid effort from goaltender Brooke Corbiere, who held off a strong push from the Canadiens in the final minutes of Tuesday’s game.

“She’s very cool under pressure. She’s lost before and she doesn’t want to lose again. We lost in overtime in the St. Paul tournament in the A final,” said Christensen. “She was the difference in this series.”

Tyler Shirt opened the scoring for the Monarchs just over 10 minutes into the opening frame, but the lead was short lived as Canadiens Captain Damon Roy evened the score before the first intermission.

After a scoreless second period, the Canadiens mounted a push for the net on the brink of elimination. While the Habs managed to steal the lead with a well-placed shot from Isaac Porozni, it was short lived as Mallaig’s Brendan Levasseur tied the game back up less than a minute later.

With just under five minutes remaining in regulation, Porozni potted his second of the night, giving his team a chance to come back, but Corbiere shut the door on the Habs’ late attempt to come back.

With one minute left to play, a loose pucked bounced out of the Monarchs defensive zone and rolled all the way down the ice, into the empty Canadiens goal and lifting Mallaig to the next round.

“I was just hoping it would go in,” Monarchs Capt. Clay Kwiatkowski said of seeing the rolling puck leave his zone and travel down the ice, ensuring his team a spot in the next round.

Kwiatkowski added it was a very evenly matched game, and he was impressed by the strong performance by the Canadiens.

“It was a really good effort. They pushed hard the whole game,” adding a kudos to his goaltender, Corbiere. “She was exceptionally good.”

Habs Captain Roy said he was proud of his team’s efforts, and the way everyone kept fighting until the final buzzer.

“We played good, and we did what we could. Mallaig is a pretty good team,” said Roy. “We’re pretty even. They came out and played better.

The Monarchs will now face off against the Vermilion Tigers, with game dates still to be determined. Christensen said that while the team knows very little in terms of what to expect from Vermilion, the game plan will largely remain the same as it was against St. Paul

“I haven’t seen them. We’re Tier II, they play in Tier III so we haven’t seen them at all,” said Christensen. “We knew more about St. Paul going in than we know about Vermilion, but we’re going to try to use all three of our lines with a lot of speed and some physical play.”

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