Game #3 - Eastman Selects vs Winnipeg Thrashers
After a third period melt down in Beausejour, instead of a stranglehold on the series the Selects find themselves tied one a piece with the Thrashers getting home ice advantage back in their favor. This was a game of special teams as 5 out of the 8 goals were either scored on the power play or short handed. At 8:08 of the first with Eastman’s power play winding down Matthew Osadick scored his 3rd of the playoffs with a blast over Bennet’s shoulder that nearly hit him in the head. Four minutes later the Thrashers top regular season point getter in McKenzie tied the game on their man advantage. The period was evenly played until late in the period. While on the power play, Eastman gave up the puck on an errant pass that led to a breakaway and a short handed goal for the Thrashers that gave them the lead heading into the second. The late goal did not deter the Selects as they came right back with another power play marker as Hill made a saucer pass to Brule whose shot found the back of the net through a maze of bodies. At 14:35 the third line of Grossman, Beauchemin and Brown contributed with a nice 3 way pass to the front of the net with Grossman’s first of the playoffs. The Selects were appeared to be in control of the game until another last minute breakdown. The Thrashers scored 2 goals in less then 30 seconds to regain the lead that would stand for the rest of the game. The Selects power play stumbled from then on and did not get back on track as they had 3 odd man opportunities to tie the game. Mason Martin of the Thrashers scored another Thrashers power play at 15:11 to put the game out of reach. The selects will need to improve their special teams as they head back to Sun Gro for game 4.
Game #4 - Winnipeg Thrashers vs Eastman Selects
The Eastman Selects are in a must win situation with their backs against the wall being down 2 games to 1 in the series. Home ice will bring some comfort to the Selects as they are allowed the last change and also with the best fans in the league to support their cause. Once again the Selects opened up the scoring for the 4th game in a row and from a most likely source. Matthew Osadick scored his forth of the playoffs off a nice 3 on 2 rush with a back pass from Will Cruise that had Osadick walk in with a hard wrister that beat the goalie on the glove side. Not a minute later Matthew Hill scored his first of the playoffs with a nice redirection from Burke Heide’s shot from the point. From then on Eastman’s Belluk stood on his head stopping not one but two breakaway attempts by the Thrashers. During one power play, Belluk made an incredible cross crease save to stimme the Winnipeg team. He was seeing the puck well all night through screens and limiting rebound opportunities. Protecting a two-goal lead they say is the hardest lead to protect in hockey. The Selects took care of that by weathered the storm and at 2:51 of the third Drew Draward cranked a pass from Osadick that delighted the Selects faithful, as no lead was safe in this league. Eastman put the game out of reach midway through the third as Hill passed out front to Seymour who had a shot. After the smoke cleared it was Dallon Wilton who collected the rebound and scored. Danton Belluk stopped all 34 Thrashers shots and was the first star of the game. The Selects coaching staff will have a tough decision as to who will be in net for game 5 as both goalies are playing well. Game 5 takes place at the Gateway at 3:30. Winner moves on, as all the other series in the league have been determined.