Photo Courtesy: Melissa Baker Photography
Whitecourt, AB - The Whitecourt Wolverines used a three-goal third period to take a 2-1 lead in their North Division Semi-Final series against the Fort McMurray Oil Barons with a 5-2 win.
The Wolverines got the home crowd on their feet early as just 4:22 into the opening frame, Chase Haygarth ripped home a shot following a setup from Ryan Wallz after a forechecking Hayden Clayton created a loose puck in the offensive zone. The Barons quickly erased their deficit as less than 90 seconds later, Will Conley jammed in a rebound for his first goal of the series, leveling the game at one. At the 8:14 mark of the first period the Oil Barons took the lead and again it was a rebound being cleaned up and this time it was Nicholas Leeseberg putting in the loose puck. The Wolverines answered back with just over five minutes to play in the first period with Jaedon Leslie firing in a power play goal from the right-wing circle.
No scoring in the second period saw the teams enter the third period of play tied at 2-2.
Just under four minutes into the final stanza, Jaedon Leslie found the back of the net again after a tremendous cross-ice setup by Yannik Bertrand. The Oil Barons would then run into penalty trouble and find themselves shorthanded on seven different occasions in the third period. Just as a 5-on-3 power play expired, Ben Evanish one-timed a Tanner Foster pass by Fort McMurray goalie Chris Curr at the 8:17 mark. Less than two minutes later, Jude Butler increased the Wolverines lead to 5-2 as he tipped in a cross-ice pass on another 5-on-3 power play. The Wolverines would hold that lead until the final horn to take the one-game lead in the best-of-seven series.
Game four of series goes Tuesday night at the Scott Safety Centre with a 7:30 p.m. opening faceoff.
Whitecourt Wolverines head coach Gord Thibodeau analyzes his team's game three win:
WCT Goal - 4:22 - Chase Haygarth(1) from Ryan Wallz and Hayden Clayton (EV)
FM Goal - 5:45 - Will Conley(3) from Merritt Oszytko and Taner Miller (EV)
FM Goal - 8:14 - Nicholas Leeseberg(1) from Reed Morison and Shane Fraser (EV)
WCT Goal - 14:32 - Jaedon Leslie(1) from Yannik Bertrand and Ryan Grant (PP)
WCT Goal - 3:59 - Jaedon Leslie(2) from Yannik Bertrand and Tyr Thompson (EV)
WCT Goal - 8:17 - Ben Evanish(4) from Tanner Foster and Tyr Thompson (PP)
WCT Goal - 9:52 - Jude Butler(2) from Brayden Labant and Liam Motley (PP)
Shots - WCT 23 (9-3-11) FM 31 (13-10-8)
Power plays - WCT 3/13 FM 0/6
WCT - Xavier Potvin (5-1) 29sv/31sh
FM - Chris Curr (4-2) 18sv/23sh
Three Star Selection:
1. WCT-Jaedon Leslie
2. WCT-Yannik Bertrand
3. WCT-Chase Haygarth
Danali's Handyman and Rental Service Hardest Working Wolverine: Tanner Foster
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