The game was lively and fast-paced, with quick turnovers and a handful of odd-man rushes. The Lions, who faced a depleted Tiger team, scored two goals in each of the three periods of play. Bendale played the entire game with only nine players.
“Today’s mentality is to just play a strong game – to the best of our ability,” Bendale Head Coach Steve Taylor said before the match. “We know we’re playing with a short bench today, so it will be a tough game for us. But it’s hockey – and that’s what it’s all about.”
The game got feisty in the last 10 minutes, with four of the five penalties called in the third period.
“It feels great. I feel like we played a good game.” RH King Academy Assistant Coach Brian Chetwynd said. “A little bit of a circus at the end, but it feels good to be moving on [to the finals].”
The Lions finished first in their division, never having lost a game in regulation, with a record of 5-0-1. The Tigers finished the season in fifth place, with a record of 2-4.
“To finish first – we’re pretty excited,” Chetwynd said. “The guys worked hard, but we’re trying to take it one game at a time.”
The final match will be played on Feb. 24 at Centennial Arena.