BARRHEAD - The Barrhead Steelers' playoff run came to an end after losing to Drayton Valley in a high-scoring final in the final game of the Northern Alberta Interlock (NAI) League U18 Tier 2 championship 10-8 on March 11 to take home the silver banner.
The Steelers got to the championship final by defeating Hinton and Mayerthorpe.
Going into the game, the Steelers knew they had their work cut out for them as the championship, like all the other U18 Tier 2 round, were a home-and-home total point series as they lost 6-1 the night before.
However, team manager Nate Wilson said the Steelers players still believed they had a chance to win the championship.
"Anything and everything can happen in minor hockey. And it was a wild final game," he said.
Going into the series, the Steelers knew they would have their handsfull. In the regular season, although their matchups with Drayton Valley were competitive, they had not managed a win against them.
Barrhead hit the scoreboard first in a closely contested opening period on a goal by Tayson Hallock, assisted by Magnus Kaplan at the seven-and-a-half-minute. The Steelers would extend their lead five minutes later on a marker by Kayden Rentz, assisted by Carter Greilach and Cesar Issac Marquez Barrios.
Drayton Valley would cut into Barrhead's lead, scoring their first goal with five minutes to go in the period. At intermission, the Steelers led 2-1 and had a one-shot advantage on the shot clock 11-10.
In the second period, it looked like Drayton Valley might run away with it scoring three unanswered goals in the first four minutes of the period before Rentz, assisted by Greilach and Barrios, responded for the Steeler at the five-and-a-half-minute mark.
Drayton Valley would then go on to score the next two goals before Barrhead responded with a trio of goals in the last two-and-a-half minutes of the period to go into the second intermission leading 6-5 and outshooting their opponents 25-14 for the period.
Scoring for the Steelers were Carsen Anderson, assisted by Rentz and Greilach, Rentz, assisted by Anderson and Greilach and Kaplan with an assist to Hallock.
Unfortunately for Barrhead, they could not capitalize on the momentum they built up to end the second, giving up three goals in the first three minutes of the third period. Barrhead and Drayton Valley would exchange goals before the end of the period. The Steelers' goal was by Barrios, assisted by Rentz and Trent Gravel.
Barry Kerton, TownandCountryToday.com