For the Kindersley Klippers on Wednesday night, it was the same old story once again. They played well and contended for the first and majority of the second, they would take a penalty and kill it off, and then give up a goal shortly after that would kill any momentum they had. This time, it resulted in a 5-1 loss to the Notre Dame Hounds.
It took a bit for the Klippers to adjust to the larger ice surface in Wilcox, and they gave up a quick goal in the second minute of the game when Hounds' defender Trey Taylor held the puck in on the right side of the ice and put it into the corner where it was picked up by Oliver Band, and he sent the puck into the slot where it bounced around before Johno Hoins was able to put the puck into the back of the net.
From there, it took a little bit but the Klippers started to find their groove. After going down 5-1 on the shot clock, they got the next six including one off both the crossbar and the post after Matt Mazzocchi made a beautiful toe drag around a defender and rung iron twice with the same shot. Later in the period, Mazzocchi with some time behind the net went for a lacrosse style goal, but had the puck knocked off his stick just before it got into the air.
In net, Matt Pesenti seemed to have settled after the first goal got by him and made an incredible save after he stretched out on his stomach to try and cover the puck, but he missed. With six guys and Pesenti all battling in the crease for the puck, the puck was lifted over Pesenti but he swung his blocker back and batted it away from trouble for a highlight reel save.
For only the fourth time this year, the Klippers didn't take a penalty for a full twenty minute period.
After 1: Klippers 0 - 1 Hounds, shots 11-10 Hounds
Both teams got a shot early in the second period, but then that same old story for the Klippers started to write itself again as Max Kathol was given a five minute major on a checking from behind call right in front of the benches just over three minutes into the period. The Hounds put shots on Pesenti but nothing of too much quality, and a lot of passes from behind the net into the slot were redirected by traffic or missed entirely.
Once the penalty was over, the Klippers end up hemmed in their own zone with a difficult second period change, and to try and spark his team, the returning Ethan Ironside landed a huge hit in the defensive zone on Rocsyn Bird at the blue line. Problem was, Bird got his shot off just in time to celebrate from the ground as his shot went through traffic cleanly and put the Hounds up 2-0 at the halfway mark of the period. Both Hoins and Band were credited with assists.
The Klippers got their own powerplay, which has struggled this year, but Logan Linklater also returning to the lineup decided to change that. After getting a pass from Charles Obobaifo on the man advantage, Linklater came in from the left point and toe dragged around his defender before rifling a wrist shot through traffic and past the blocker to put the Klippers on the board and breath in some life to the Klippers.
The Klippers had two other opportunities on the powerplay to finish off the period, but couldn't get anything past the stellar Austin Elliot in net, but managed to dominate most of the play throughout the back half of the second because of it.
After 2: Klippers 1 - 2 Hounds, shots 10-6 Hounds in the period, 21-16 Hounds in the game
The Klippers used a new line to get that elusive tying goal by putting on Linklater, Ironside, and Noah Lindsay, and for their entire shift they managed to have the puck in the offensive zone until the Hounds cleared it. On the change, the Hounds worked the puck back to Trey Taylor, and the defenceman fired another shot through traffic that found its way past Pesenti before he could see it, assists to Band and Caden Scott.
That goal seemed to deflate any fight the Klippers had. The few opportunities the Klippers had seemed to go wide or get tipped off to the side of the net. The Klippers gave up a full minute of 5-on-3 when Brenden Lee was called for holding and shortly after Logan Linklater while on the bench was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct. Both penalties were killed off, but the Klippers' tires had already been slashed.
Shortly after the penalty kill, Jaryd Sych got the puck at the centre of the blue line and sent a shot through traffic, tipped by Will Dawson, and the puck again beat Pesenti before he saw it to essentially put the dagger in for the Hounds before the halfway mark of the period.
With three minutes left, the Hounds added insult to injury when Elliot Dutil picked up a loose puck behind the net and came around to the right side of Pesenti, on Dutil's backhand. Without really looking, he put a shot up over Pesenti's shoulder and under the bar to finish off a dominant third period.
FINAL: Klippers 1 - 5 Hounds, shots 12-11 Klippers in the period, 32-38 in the game
The Klippers have now dropped four straight, but will try to settle things down when they play their first home game in two weeks when they welcome the La Ronge Ice Wolves on Friday.