The Senior 'AAA' Rosetown Redwings began their charge for the 2019 Allan Cup late yesterday afternoon with a close win against the Innisfail Eagles.
Both teams opened the tournament from the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex in Lacombe, Alberta that saw the Redwings come away with a 4-3 victory against their Allan Cup Hockey West rivals.
Up three goals in the second period, the Eagles were able to cut Rosetown's lead to one goal before the end of the second period. The Redwings entered the break with a 3-2 lead.
In the third period, the Alberta club was able to claw themselves back into the game, tying things up at 3-3. But the knotted up score wouldn't last for long.
After receiving a powerplay late in the game, Wings captain Jordie Johnston found the back of the net to make it 4-3. It turned out to be the eventual game-winner for Rosetown as the Redwings held on for a 4-3 victory. Johnston was awarded the game's MVP honours following his heroics in the win.
Despite facing the higher amount of chances in the tournament opener, Brodie Hoffman helped guide the Redwings to their first victory of the schedule. Innisfail ended the game with 37 shots to Rosetown's 27.
Getting a win in their first game was absolutely crucial for the Redwings as their next opponents in round robin play won't be any easier. Next on the docket are the Stoney Creek Generals from Ontario, who are the 2018 Allan Cup champions when the tournament was hosted in Rosetown. With an important win already under their belts, the Redwings have the early advantage of finishing their group at the top before seeding takes place for the knockout phase starting on Thursday with the quarterfinals.
The Redwings have the day off today before they go head-to-head with the Generals at 4:00 p.m. tomorrow from Lacombe.
Meanwhile in yesterday's other game, the host Lacombe Generals were unable to start the tournament with a win in front of the home fans. Their opponents, the South East Prairie Thunder from Manitoba, separated themselves from the Generals in the third period to solidify a 4-2 win last night.
Today's schedule features the Innisfail Eagles versus the Stoney Creek Generals at 4:00 p.m.; Lacombe will try to bounce back tonight when they meet the Haut-Madawaska Panthers at 8:00 p.m. from the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex.