The Kindersley Klippers Senior Hockey Team has reached the end of the road in their quest for provincial glory.
Last night in Game 2 at the West Central Events Centre between the Klippers and the Watrous Winterhawks, the visitors pulled away with a few goals in the third period to win 7-2, take the series 2-0, and secure their spot in the next round of the Senior A tournament.
In the first period, the Winterhawks shocked the Klippers with a couple shorthanded goals on Kindersley's first couple powerplays to start the game. Mitch Stretch and Chad Murton were the forwards who helped created the turnovers and capitalized on their chances to give the Winterhawks the 2-0 lead after one.
Watrous went back to work in the first few minutes of the second period to extend their lead even further. Craig McCallum found the back of the net first, followed by Aaron Starr, making it 4-0 for the away team.
The Klippers would get themselves back into the game on the man advantage near the halfway mark of the game. Import David Haaf, who is playing this season with Maple Creek in the White Mud Hockey League, cashed in on a blue line chance, which slipped through Watrous goaltender Brody Hoffman, to give Kindersley their first of the game. Kyle Donaldson and John Calkins were credited with the assists.
13 seconds later off a deep faceoff, Troy Schwab would win the puck back to Brandon Cummings, slotting the rubber past Hoffman to give life to the home side at the midway point of the second.
Despite a period featuring chances from both sides, the score would remain 4-2 after 40 minutes. In a must-win situation, the Klippers were in dire need to replicate their second period offence in order to keep their provincial hopes alive.
A few minutes into the third, Winterhawks captain Woody Klassen caused a turnover during a Klippers breakout from Kindersley's end of the ice. All alone on Klippers netminder Josh Thorimbert, the skipper would tally Watrous's fifth goal of the night to make it 5-2.
Once Klassen found the net, the Kindersley defence began to collapse and the Winterhawks padded their lead even further. Winterhawks sniper Trent Campbell would score his only goals of the game within 30 seconds of each other to make it 7-2, solidifying their spot in the next round and guaranteeing Kindersley's early exit from provincials in 2019.
Hoffman earned the win for the Watrous contingent after playing back-to-back games over the weekend for the Rosetown Redwings during their opening games against the Innisfail Eagles in the ACHW playoffs. Thorimbert, who returned to Kindersley after playing for the Kindersley Red Lions in 2014-2015, was given the loss on the night.
Now eliminated from provincial contention, the Klippers will turn their focus to league playoffs where they will face the Macklin Mohawks in the semifinals. Kindersley received a bye into the second round after completing the SWHL regular season schedule in second place out of six teams. No dates have yet been released by the teams for when they will begin their series.