Submitted by: Tom Hallick
AUGUST 5, 2017
The Manitoba Blizzard are two games into their Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League Final Four round robin slate and sit at 1-1, after defeating the Calgary Chill 10-9 in double overtime late Friday night and dropping an 11-9 decision to the Red Deer Rampage Saturday morning in Edmonton.
FRIDAY NIGHT: MANITOBA 10 CALGARY 9 2OT
Calgary raced out to a 2-0 lead before the game was a minute old on goals from Ethan Olson and Ben Foster, but the Blizzard rallied to tie the game on goals from Kelson Borisenko and Colin Poitras. But the tie lasted all of 15 seconds as Ryland Bjorndahl gave the Chill their second lead of the night. Toron Eccleston’s first of three gave the Chill a two-goal edge before Loel Asham cut the Calgary lead to 4-3. Matt Martin made it a 5-3 Chill lead, before Andy Szun again cut the Chill lead to a goal, but Foster’s second lifted Calgary to a 6-4 lead after one period.
Olson’s second put the Chill up by three, but Manitoba rallied with goals from Poitras, Blaze Bezecki and Kieran Mulvaney to draw even at 7-apiece through two periods.
Jared Courchene gave the Blizz Boys their first lead of the game three-and-a-half minutes into the third frame. Borisenko followed that up with his second of the night to stake Manitoba to a 9-7 lead before the Chill struck for a pair to force extra time thanks to Eccleston.
After a scoreless first overtime, it would be Borisenko notching the hat trick 43 seconds into the fifth frame to give the Blizzard the win.
Borisenko 3, Poitras 2, Courchene, Asham, Szun, Bezecki, Mulvaney
Eccleston 3, Foster 2, Olson 2, Bjorndahl, Martin
SATURDAY MORNING: RED DEER 11, BLIZZARD 9
Red Deer hit the board first on a Jordan Waddell goal just before the midway mark of the opening period, however a pair of Blaze Bezecki goals and an Andy Szun tally in a three-minute span gave the Blizzard a 3-1 edge after 20 minutes.
The Rampage cut into the Manitoba lead on the first of three Dustin Bell goals a minute-and-a-half into the middle period, however Colin Poitras restored the two-goal edge a little over a minute later. A Dawson Reykdal goal got Red Deer again to within a goal, Bell then tied it. Blaze Bezecki made it a 5-4 Manitoba lead. Poitras added his second to make it 6-4 Blizz before Kaden Christensen notched one with four-and-a-half minutes left to make it 6-5 Blizzard after 40 minutes.
Red Deer stormed to the lead thanks to three goals in the period’s first six minutes as Connor Shantz potted a pair and Sheridan Cook added one of his own to make it 8-6. Troy Gutowski and Andy Szun scored in a 21-second span to tie it at 8-all. But the Rampage got three more goals from Cook, Bell and Elijah Johanson to slam the door on a Blizzard comeback. Bezecki got one back in the closing minute, but it was too late. It was the first loss for the Blizzard since a mid-May defeat in Red Deer.
The Blizzard wrap up the round-robin with a 7PM contest against the tournament’s host club Edmonton Warriors.
Bezecki 4, Poitras 2, Szun 2, Gutowski
RED DEER (2-0)
Bell 3, Reykdal 2, Cook 2, Waddell, Johanson, Shantz, Christensen