Coming in on a four game losing streak that started against this very team, the Kindersley Jr. A Klippers were happy to be back at home as they welcomed the La Ronge Ice Wolves to town Friday night. A five minute major without one of their best penalty killers, a hat trick from one of the league's most dangerous scorers, two 5-on-3s, all of that adversity and the Klippers managed to overcome every bit of it in a 7-6 overtime win.
Matt Mazzocchi got the goal fest started when he put one in four minutes in. One of the Ice Wolves was alone in front of his net and Mazzocchi was able to steal the puck, walked right into the slot, and put away a very pretty backhand goal over the glove of Xavier Cannon to break the ice unassisted.
Compared to the next two, not much else happened in the first period. The Klippers got a great chance on a 2-on-1 when Logan Linklater made a nice saucer pass through the middle to Carson Baylis who was robbed by a fantastic save from Cannon. At the end of the period, Chase Friedt-Mohr went to the penalty box for a hit to the head, and the penalty killed off, but Friedt-Mohr would stay in the box for another seven minutes to start the second thanks to the 10 minute misconduct that came with the minor penalty.
After 1: Klippers 1 - 0 Ice Wolves, shots 11-6 Klippers
The Klippers could have used Friedt-Mohr early in the second as a long powerplay was awarded to the Ice Wolves in the first minute. Charles Obobaifo drove the net hard with the puck around the outside of his defenceman, and the room closed off when he collided goaltender Cannon, who laid on the ice for quite some time. Obobaifo was given a game misconduct for goaltender interference, and a five minute major was put on the board.
The first goal on the five minute major was gorgeous. Nolan Doell down the right side sent a fantastic saucer pass from the boards, through a crowded slot, and on to the ice near the opposite faceoff dot where Aaron Greyeyes hammered home a onetimer, the other assist going to Ryley Morgan, still 4:02 left in the man advantage.
The Ice Wolves then took the lead 30 seconds later when Parker Layton carried the puck around the offensive zone to the left point, then centred it for a onetimer from Nate Looft. His shot was stopped by Brett Sweet, but the rebound was kicked out right to Gavin Mattey who put it in from the side of the net.
After that, Mazzocchi was nearly on a shorthanded breakaway for the Klippers when he was dragged to the ice, no call, and the Ice Wolves brought it back the other way and Aiden Bangs was nabbed for a trip at centre. 5-on-3 for 1:40. The Ice Wolves scored again when the puck got stuck in the slot and everyone seemed to get a whack at it, but it was Brandon Della Paolera that potted the rebound, Looft and Parker Layton on the assists.
3-1 after five minutes in the second period. After a penalty and giving up three goals, the trend for the Klippers after something like that has been to slowly fall apart and limp to the end. This is not what happened.
The comeback started on a special moment when defenceman Ethan Hillbig picked the puck up on the right wall and put a shot on net, and his older brother Tylin was able to tip the puck in past Cannon to make it 3-2 near the halfway point of the period, and Cannon would soon be pulled after that and taken out of the game due to injury from the earlier collision.
The Klippers were about to go on the powerplay when Linklater was hold in the corner by Brian Gillman, but when the Ice Wolves touched the puck, Ethan Ironside and Gillman continued to talk until they dropped the gloves, each man landing a couple punches before Ironside earned the takedown, and somehow a unsportsmanlike penalty, and we played 4-on-4.
On the four on four, Linklater and Noah Lindsay went to work on the forecheck and Lindsay forced a turnover behind the net, then swung it towards the slot where Linklater crashed and put home the onetimer to tie the game with eight minutes to play in the second.
After getting robbed in the first, Carson Baylis was able to come in clutch for his team with three minutes left in the period. Lindsay on the ice again with a faceoff win to Jack Michell, he went d-to-d to Ethan Hillbig who sent a shot on, and this time Baylis got the tip to take the lead back for the Klippers.
With the comeback done, the Klippers continued to pressure and then extended their lead. Playing in his first game as a Klipper after being called up from the Swift Current Legionnaires, Matthew Ripplinger chipped the puck up to centre and just before an Ice Wolves defender could get a stick on it, Linklater poked it by him to go on a 2-on-1 down the left with Josh Danis to his right. Linklater did it himself this time with a wrist shot right side with two minutes left.
After 2: Klippers 5 - 3 Ice Wolves, shots 13-8 Klippers in the period, 24-14 Klippers overall
The third period belonged to Holden Doell for the Ice Wolves. Just five minutes into the third, the Ice Wolves had another 5-on-3 opportunity for 1:46, and they scored near the end when they cycled the puck around until Doell was set up for a onetimer in the slot. Sweet caught a piece, but not enough and it skittered in with assists to Ryley Morgan and Della Paolera.
At the halfway mark, the Klippers got another goal in the most unlikely way. On the penalty kill again, defenceman Ethan Grabowski stole the puck in his own zone and gave Mazzocchi a pass to send him on a partial break. He realized he didn't have enough speed for a clean breakaway, so he stopped short and found Grabowski streaking through the middle of the ice, and he scored his first of the season with a nasty onetimer to put the Klippers back up 6-4.
Doell then retook control of his period. Just past the 12 minute mark, Doell was able to get the puck up the right side and turned on the afterburner for a breakaway and he didn't miss as he scored over the glove of Sweet, Walker Jerome on the assist.
30 seconds later, and Doell had a hat trick. Ryley Morgan went down the left side of the ice with the puck before cutting towards the middle, and he sent a backhand pass through the slot to Doell on the back door to tie the game with eight minutes left.
Both teams got chances in the final minute, but neither team could crack the tension in the third.
After 3: Klippers 6 - 6 Ice Wolves, shots 13-10 Klippers in the period, 37-24 Klippers overall
While 3-on-3 overtime is usually end to end rushes when either team can catch the other flat footed, but this one was more slow and methodical. After a turnover, each team would slow things down, let their own players get set, and try a set play.
The Ice Wolves didn't register a shot in the overtime, but they had chances. Doell looked like he was setting up for his fourth, but instead passed the puck to Greyeyes who's shot caused a scrum in front and the puck went through the crease from behind Sweet, but it stayed out.
The Klippers had five shots, and it was was the captain who got the goal. A great effort from Carson Baylis again brought the puck up the middle of the ice on a breakaway, and he was stopped his shot but stayed with the puck and sent it back to the middle where Mark Snarr followed up and placed a wrist shot left side for the win.
FINAL: Klippers 7 - 6 Ice Wolves (OT), shots 5-0 Klippers in Overtime, 42-24 Klippers Overall
While Matthew Ripplinger made his Klippers debut and earned an assist, Coletyn Boyarski did the same after being traded to the Klippers from the Melfort Mustangs and while he didn't put a point on the board for the Klippers, he was a key penalty killer, created a number of turnovers for the Klippers, and created chances in the offensive zone and very well should've been rewarded with a point for his debut.
The Klippers get a full week long rest before they travel to Nipawin to take on the Hawks in the first of a home and home series.