Feb. 26 at CPET – Quarter Final Playoffs Game 2 6-2 L
This one got away from the visitors early and though they never gave up it just wasn’t going to be the Buckeyes’ day. The Canadiens struck for two quick goals from Campbell and Chudley to erase an impressive first shift by the Buckeyes and put Miles Mac behind the eight ball early. Jayden Lafleur would answer soon after when he deposited a goal mouth scramble produced by a solid shift from #8 and his linemates Colin Pelletier and Quentin Clyke. CPET would answer right back on the PP however, and the score was 3-1 quite early in the game. A fourth CPET goal in the first period chased Buckeye starter Reece Overby from the net and the period ended at 4-1. The Canadiens made generating offence tough and when the Buckeyes did generate some chances the goaltending was up to the task. Miles Mac worked hard and finally got a bounce when Aaron Neilson scored late in the period on a pass that hit something in front and crossed the line. A bit of a soft one but Miles Mac was due and had some life going into the intermission down 4-2. despite a big push in the third a CPET power play marker about half way through really put the team in a hole they would not be able to dig themselves out of. The Canadiens would add one more late and send Miles Mac home earlier than anyone had hoped. It was a tough end to a wonderful season and a truly tight knit group.
Feb. 25 vs. CPET – Quarter Final Playoffs Game 1 2-1 L
A big crowd was on hand to take in an all RETSD matchup in the quarter finals of the WFP Division playoffs. The Buckeyes matched up against the Canadiens in what promised to be a hard fought series between teams that split the season series. The first period was tightly contested, with the home team supplying more consistent pressure. This eventually bore fruit as Owen Park opened the scoring on an unconventional two on one play in the second period. Park tried to slide the puck over to Sendrowski but it hit the skate of the CPET defender and came right back on to the tape of Park. #16 made no mistake depositing it with a quick wrister as the Canadien goalie was out of position playing the pass. Miles Mac was buzzing to increase the lead but could not put it past Damon Nash and the result was just a 1-0 lead at the intermission. The Canadiens came out with some jump and caught the Buckeyes napping with a goal just a handful of seconds into the period. A turnover was pounced on by CPET star Evan Chudley and he put it past starter Zenon Toporoski. Chudley would strike again at the tail end of a Miles Mac PP as he took advantage of another Buckeye miscue in their own end to score the go ahead goal. The Buckeyes pressed hard for the equalizer but went 0-6 on the PP and, while some credit has to go to CPET, the quality of the finish was just not there and it cost the Buckeyes a game where they probably deserved a better fate. Down one game, the Buckeyes meet CPET at East End tomorrow.
Feb. 20 at SJR – Q Round Playoffs Game 2 6-4 W
The Buckeyes came out flying in this one but couldn’t solve Eagle goalie Andrew Blahy. SJR was able to regroup and take advantage of a turnover to take a 1-0 lead. The Eagles struck again late in the period to lead by two after one. Nate Turner got one back for the Buckeyes on the first shift of the second period, but then Miles Mac was tagged with a double minor and had to go on the kill. In the waning moments of the first minor SJR was able to bury their third on a coverage error that left a man open in the slot. During the second minor, red hot Nate Turner stripped the SJR defense and went in all alone to notch a key shorthanded goal to bring the Buckeyes back within one. The see saw affair would continue though, as SJR made good on the last part of the PP to take a 4-2 lead. This led to a goalie change as the team looked to shake things up. Zenon Toporoski came in to try to stem the tide and he succeeded. The Buckeyes would get a PP of their own shortly after and a beautiful pass from Aaron Neilson found Dylan Goldsworthy back door and he made no mistake. Just two minutes after that, again on the PP, Nate Turner would complete the hat trick to bring Miles Mac back even with the Eagles. The third was tightly contested, but the Buckeyes would make the Eagles pay for a third time on the power play. This time, a shot by stalwart blue liner Tyson Fincaryk was tipped in the slot by Owen Park and this fooled Blahy for the go ahead goal with 11:33 left. Miles Mac couldn’t salt this one away despite three breakaways, and it came down to the final moments. A key kill by the squad left SJR having to pull with ninety seconds remaining. A big stop by Toporoski and some great pressure by the Buckeyes preserved the lead and ended up with an empty netter by Park to seal the win and the series. Buckeyes do it the hard way but advance to the quarter finals next week.
Feb. 18 vs. SJR – Q Round Playoffs Game 1 5-1 W
Miles Mac opened up their playoffs on home ice at East St. Paul as the second seed facing off against the fifteenth seed. The Buckeyes went 2-0-1 against the Ravenscourt Eagles over the course of the year. The first period started off slow and the Eagles had a couple good opportunities on the power play to open up scoring but were denied by Reece Overby. The Buckeyes needed a spark and it was provided by rookie phenom Nate Turner who blasted a laser from the far left hashmark that beat Eagle goaltender Andrew Blahy to the top corner. This woke the squad up and they buried two more in the second period. The first was another beauty from Nate Turner in the slot after a great pass from Aaron Neilson. The second was a snipe by Quinn Sendrowski from in close. #9 was inspired all day and was awarded the Buckeye POG. In the third the ice continued to be tilted towards Blahy, as Miles Mac poured two more in off the sticks of Aaron Neilson and Brandon Bilugan. The Eagles buried one on a point shot in the dying seconds to avoid their second consecutive shut out versus the Buckeyes, but that was all she wrote for game 1 of the best of 3 series.
Feb. 13 at Sanford 2-1 W
The regular season finale was played in the Sabre Dome out in Sanford, always a tough place to play. With both teams looking to improve their seed going into the post-season this one had a playoff intensity as it was physical and tightly contested. The home team opened the scoring mid-way through the first as a Sabre was able to find himself with some time alone in the slot and he made no mistake. The Buckeyes answered a few minutes later to knot the score back up at 1. It was a solid shift by the trio of Jayden Lafleur, Quinn Sendrowski, and Colin Pelletier. Lafleur had a good entry and Sendrowski got the puck to the net and crashed. Pelletier was jonny on the spot to put it home side door off the goal mouth scramble. In the last minute of the first the Buckeyes would take the lead on a great individual effort by Brandon Bilugan. The Buckeyes #10 and his smooth stride lulled three Sanford defenders to sleep as he carried it through the neutral zone and beat the D man wide, putting it in short side. The second period featured some massive kills by the PK unit, as the team spent most of the period in the box. This included some time down two men. The killers did a great job taking away time and space and starter Reece Overby was stellar. In the third the Buckeyes got theier own PP chances but could bury due to some nice stops and in some cases the clang of iron. The Sabres pulled the goalie for the equalizer but Miles Mac shut the door, with some gritty plays made by the D men and Nate Turner and Owen Park in particular. The win clinches the second seed for the Buckeyes and a 17-7 regular season record. Playoffs start next week vs. SJR.
Feb. 11 at Springfield 3-0 L
The Buckeyes saw their seven game win streak snapped in the barn at Oakbank against Springfield. The Buckeyes came out with a dominant opening few shifts but it was the Sabres who opened the scoring early on a defensive miscommunication that turned into a two on one and ended up in the back of the net. The home squad made it 2-0 on a play that looked to be defended well at first but again got away from the Buckeyes and a shot beat Reece Overby to the short side. Miles Mac had several long periods in the Sabre zone but continue to be a snake bitten when it comes to burying the puck. Credit goes to the Sabres who play tough and make you earn your chances, and Miles Mac didn’t quite have enough jam to get the job done on this night. Buckeyes have a chance to secure the second seed in the playoffs with a win in their final regular season game at Sanford in two days.
Feb. 4 at SJR 2-0 W
Miles Mac made use of the big ice surface at Dutton to get their feet moving and put forth a great team effort against the Eagles. A day after an uneven game at CPET, the boys came back looking sharp and engaged. Kahl Dewar opened the scoring, cashing in on a rebound after some hard work by Owen Park and a nice shot on goal by Jordan Crawford. The Buckeyes continued to dominate long stretches of the game but due to a combination of poor shooting and good goaltending, only had a 1-0 lead deep into the second period. Nate Turner was able to score a big goal to give the Buckeyes a bit of a cushion heading into the intermission. It was more of the same in the third. The Eagles hung around and made a bit of a push late with the net empty, but Reece Overby was up for the challenge in getting the win and the shutout. This one was closer than it needed to be and the Buckeyes will be working on their finish in upcoming practices.
Feb. 3 at CPET 3-2 W
The Buckeyes made it six wins in a row in Manitoba and are still undefeated in league play in 2020, but it didn’t come easy. After dropping a game to the Canadiens in December the boys from CPET gave Miles Mac all they could handle again. The formula for the Buckeyes is to get all four lines rolling but the engines were sputtering on this night. Down 1-0 going into the third the Buckeyes tied it on the PP with a blast from Evan Rollwagen, his second in as many games. After CPET retook the lead, Tyson Fincaryk found the net through traffic to restore the tie. Miles Mac capitalized on a late PP when Aaron Neilson buried a beauty shot from his spot on the left side of the umbrella. Miles Mac escapes with the win and dealt with a lot of adversity, including the loss of starter Zenon Toporoski to an equipment issue mid way through the third. Buckeyes found a way.
Jan. 31 vs Beliveau 3-1 W
The final home game of the regular schedule for the Buckeyes had huge implications in the standings as Miles Mac looked to close the gap on not only the Barracudas but the other squads just ahead of them in the standings. Again, Miles Mac played three strong periods in this one, and got contributions from up and down the line up. The Buckeyes rolled four lines effectively and are tough to beat when all hands are on deck. The team again struggled to bury early as they matched up against one of the divison’s best goaltenders again. Miles Mac notched two goals in the second period to take a 2-0 lead to the intermission at East St. Paul. The first was a beauty that was finished by Nate Turner on a net drive. It featured a nice entry by Jayden Lafleur who found Tyson Fincaryk in the high slot. Fincaryk executed a quick shot to the low pad that created the rebound for Turner. Colin Pelletier would get in on the action with his first regular season goal, pounding one in net front after some nice work by the line hemming Beliveau in. Evan Rollwagen made it 3-0 on the PP mid way through the third as the Buckeyes cashed in on a nice pass through the seam by Aaron Neilson. Beliveau would make it interesting on a stretch play and a nice pass that got behind the D for a breakaway goal. Reece Overby had to be at his best in the final five minutes and he was, as the Barracudas could not cash in on a 6-4 advantage at the end of the game. Buckeyes with the huge 3-1 win.
Jan. 29 at Pinawa 2-0 W
Miles Mac returned to league play after a 16 day hiatus and looked great in this one, making the trip out to Pinawa more than worth it. The guys controlled play for the first period but couldn’t solve Panther starter Dylan Liske, which became a bit of a trend. Buckeye starter Zenon Toporoski wasn’t as busy but had to make some big stops in the first too, including a breakaway. Despite heavily outshooting the home squad, the game went deep into the third tied at 0-0. Finally, the Buckeyes found twine, predictably on a greasy one, as a point shot ricocheted off several players until Nate Turner found it at the side of the net and put it home. Toporoski made a few key saves late to preserve his first shutout and the win before Aaron Neilson put one in the empty cage to end it.
NASHVILLE TOURNEY FINAL Jan. 20 vs. Little Caesars Farmington Hills 3-2 L
The Buckeyes had their first chance to play for a championship and the boys gave it a good go. The Buckeyes opened the scoring for the first time in the tournament on a nice two on one with Brandon Bilugan depositing a cross ice pass from Aaron Neilson. Reece Overby looked sharp early, making a stunning glove save on a quick reaction without his stick and chaos in front of him. The Buckeyes got into some penalty trouble in the second on some questionable calls, but managed to kill all but one. Farmington Hills took the lead as Miles Mac came a bit unglued defensively for a few minutes. Quinn Sendrowski scored a key goal right off the draw late in the second period with Kahl Dewar picking the centremen and the puck going five hole. Quick release always pays off! The third period was a real battle with chances on both sides, but ultimately the team from Michigan was able to get the go ahead goal with just over five minutes remaining on a nice individual effort. The Buckeyes played six on four for the final 90 seconds but couldn’t get the puck to go on a few goal mouth scrambles. The Buckeyes come home with the silver medal and some good experience in the intensity of a title game with playoffs just a few weeks away and six games left in the regular season.
NASHVILLE TOURNEY Jan. 19 vs. Little Caesars Farmington Hills 3-2 W
Due to delays at the arena this one didn’t get started until nearly 11 PM local. The Buckeyes needed a win against the undefeated squad from Farmington Hills Michigan to give them the best chance to advance to the championship round. The delay didn’t faze Miles Mac who came out looking sharp in this one. After giving up the opening goal the Buckeyes stormed back on two goals from Kahl Dewar, the first an absolute blast from the slot on a nice dish from below the goal line from Aaron Neilson. The Buckeyes opened up a 3-1 lead when Brandon Bilugan split the D and fired a backhand on goal. The rebound found its way to the high slot to Aaron Neilson and the Buckeyes’ leading scorer made no mistake. Farmington Hills got one back on the PP and pushed hard for the equalizer but the Buckeyes stood strong defensively and got some key stops by Zenon Toporoski in the late going to book their ticket to the final, a rematch with Farmington Hills.
NASHVILLE TOURNEY Jan. 18 vs. LA Jr. Kings 2-1 W
The boys were much faster and sharper in this one against a big and fairly skilled team from California. Reece Overby made some big stops in the first period as LA came out strong but the Buckeyes turned the tide as the game went on. The Kings did open the scoring, capitalizing on a bad turnover and firing one from the slot bar down. Miles Mac finally solved the goaltender when Tyson Fincaryk sent one towards the net on the PP that found it’s way through the crowd. Then, Brandon Bilugan .walked into the slot with just three minutes left and scored the critical go ahead goal. The Buckeyes held on for the win and keep their hopes of a tourney championship alive.
NASHVILLE TOURNEY Jan. 17 vs. NSH Flyers 2-1 L
The boys opened the tournament on Friday afternoon but had some trouble switching from vacation to hockey mode. The Buckeyes controlled the puck for long periods of time but couldn’t generate many shots either due to blocks or perhaps some rust as many sailed wide. The Flyers made good on a couple power plays to take a 2-0 lead after two periods. Miles Mac answered on a PP of their own when Quentin Clyke shoveled it in from in front of the net. The Buckeyes pressed hard for the equalizer but it wasn’t meant to be in the game where the visitors were sloppy and made too many mistakes.
Jan. 13 vs Kelvin 3-2 W
The Clippers and Buckeyes were meeting for the first time since the “Brandon Brawl” in December, and some were worried about a repeat performance. Instead they were treated to a fast paced and clean hockey game, one in which the Buckeyes triumphed for their third win in a row to start 2020. The first period did not feature a lot of offence from either side, but Kelvin made good on a power play to lead 1-0. The Buckeyes would tie it on a PP of their own when birthday boy Quinn Sendrowski jammed home a puck in front with assists going to Dewar and Fincaryk. Special teams continued to be special as the Clippers would score again to regain a 2-1 advantage, a lead they would take into the intermission. Finding themselves down one goal heading into the third for the second straight game, Miles Mac again found a way to pull out the W in the third period. The Buckeyes struck twice in short succession mid way through the frame. The first was a pretty passing play that saw Dewar carry the puck into the zone and drop the puck to Neilson who fed Evan Rollwagen who had opened up top of the left circle. Rollwagen made no mistake on a blast to the top corner. Off the next faceoff the Buckeyes gained the zone and found Dylan Goldsworthy at the point. The shot was tipped in the high slot by Aaron Neilson and it fooled the Clipper goalie in a very similar fashion to a goal scored by #97 vs. Kildonan East. The Clippers did not go away and their big line created some great scoring chances late, only to be denied by Zenon Toporoski who was sharp between the pipes to help secure the regulation win.
Jan. 10 at Gab Roy 4-3 OTW
The Buckeyes got off to a bit of a sloppy start in this one, coughing up some turnovers and finding themselves a step behind. The Cavaliers were able to build a 2-0 lead on two PP goals well into the second period before Miles Mac got up off the mat. Quentin Clyke would finish after some nifty stick work and a beautiful pass by Luke Tyslau from the side of the net. Down 1 at the intermission the Buckeyes came out and controlled play in the third, tying the game on an Aaron Neilson goal. The Cavs would regain the lead on a nice shot off a harmless looking rush, but Neilson would strike again when he buried a quick turn around shot from the slot after Colin Pelletier forced a turnover. Miles Mac got a late PP but couldn’t complete the comeback in regulation. Tyson Fincaryk was the hero on a breakaway during the three on three to secure the win for the visitors at Ile des Chenes.
Jan. 7 at Kildonan East 5-3 W
The boys wanted to start 2020 off right and they did so with a big win at Gateway. The Buckeyes dominated the first period, limiting the Reivers to only two shots, but the frame ended at 0-0. Miles Mac opened the scoring at the tail end of a power play when Zach Yarechewski threw one towards the goal from the blue line and Aaron Neilson executed a beautiful high tip. The Reivers tied it on a PP of their own as they pounced on a rebound after a few big stops by Reece Overby. The Buckeyes regained the lead late in the period after some great work down low by Quentin Clyke and Owen Park. They were able to get the puck to Luke Tyslau who was streaking in from a late change and he buried low blocker. The Buckeyes had a glorious chance to bury the Reivers to start the third with a five minute PP but negated it with two penalties of their own. Miles Mac was able to stay focused through the 4-4 and then earned a couple more PPs. This time the team made no mistake as Aaron Neilson buried on a nice pass from Quinn Sendrowski and Tyson Fincaryk scored on a seeing eye shot from the point with great screens provided by Tyslau and Clyke. The Reivers would narrow the lead to two before Neilson would get the hat trick into the open net. This goal was created by some solid work by Jayden Lafleur who won a puck battle in the D-zone against two Reivers. KE got one in the dying seconds for some scoreboard cosmetics but the Buckeyes were full marks for the convincing win.
Dec. 19 at Leo Remillard 5-3 L
The Buckeyes dug themselves a hole in this one. A Tyson Fincaryk PP goal knotted it at 1-1 before the Renards went on a bit of a run. Early in the second they built a 4-1 lead, chasing hot Buckeye starter Zenon Toporoski, and then they scored one more on Reece Overby in relief to make it 5-1 with half the game to go. The Buckeyes woke up and buried one before the end of the period when Kahl Dewar outmuscled the centre and Quinn Sendrowski picked it up off the draw and deposited it in the net. It was all Miles Mac in the third but they couldn’t erase the lead. Kahl Dewar was stymied on a penalty shot and there were several other big saves and near misses. Evan Rollwagen was able to score one on a PP but the final was 5-3. Miles Mac is in a bit of a slump but gets a much needed break to re-energize and come out strong in 2020. The team will also have to get healthy with several injuries in the last few weeks.
Dec. 16 vs Springfield 4-2 L
The Buckeyes were looking to cool off the surging squad from Oakbank who have been on a tear of late. A bad change helped lead to a 1-0 Springfield lead as they made a nice play to convert on a two on one just three minutes in. The Buckeyes would strike back a few minutes later on the PP. With the usual QB Tyson Fincaryk suspended for a game the unit still stepped up and got it done on this night. The first goal was a howitzer that went in just below the cross bar from Evan Rollwagen and the second, later in the period, was banged home by Luke Tyslau who was rewarded for his great net front work. The period ended 2-2. Springfield regained the lead mid-way through the second, capitalizing on some miscues which has become a negative trend of late. Off a draw in the Sabre zone the puck came flying out back towards the Buckeye blue line. Four Buckeyes watched a Sabre blow by them and eventually make a strong play against the last remaining D to strip him of the puck and score on a partial breakaway. This would end up being the winner. Miles Mac pressed hard all period for the equalizer but couldn’t get one through the wickets and saw a lot of shots blocked or sail wide. Sabres added an empty netter with a few seconds to go. Starting goalie Reece Overby was very good, especially early, and overall there was lots of good to take from the game.
Dec. 13 vs Sanford 3-2 W
The team was ready to play after a poor effort the other day, but faced an equally determined Sanford squad in what was a real battle at River East. The Buckeyes opened the scoring late in the first after some great work in the offensive zone. Nate Turner and Aaron Neilson went to work on the cycle below the goal line and then found Brandon Bilugan perched in the high slot and he made no mistake with a quick shot to the low blocker. Miles Mac would make it 2-0 on a great individual effort by Neilson. A highlight reel type breakaway goal from #97. The Sabres got back to within one before the period ended. Sanford would tie it on a highlight reel goal of their own in the third as the quick little forward split the Miles Mac D and fooled Buckeye starter Zenon Toporoski. This was no easy task on the day as Toporoski was stellar, making some key stops on a number of breakaways after some defensive melt downs. Miles Mac would regain the lead on the PP as Neilson would strike again with a laser from the top of the circle after a nice feed from Turner. Miles Mac would hang on for the win and are full marks for it against a tough Sanford squad that forechecks and plays hard.
Dec. 10 vs CPET 5-2 L
The Buckeyes came out slow and never really got going in this one. CPET was the quicker, more physical, and more prepared team in this one. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Miles Mac got one back and then had a nice penalty kill. This might have swung momentum in the Buckeyes favour but CPET was able to get two quick ones to snuff that out. Miles Mac capped off a terrible period with an ill advised back pass at their own blue line with 10 seconds left that led to a 5-1 lead at the intermission. Miles Mac played better in the third, limiting CPET to just a couple shots on net, but far too little and far too late in a disappointing loss.
BRANDON TOURNEY Dec. 8 vs Stonewall 4-1 W
The Buckeyes finished the Vic Inns tournament by winning the consolation side of the Clarion Division. It wasn’t the initial goal, but after the set back against Morden the boys took care of business very well in finishing the right way with two big wins. The Rams played hard for a full three periods and gave the Buckeyes a lot to handle at times but the defence was solid and Toporoski played quite well in goal. Neilson continued his hot streak with two more goals that came off beautiful passes by Quinn Sendrowski and Brandon Bilugan. Jayden Lafleur scored his third of the tournament on a pretty tip from the high slot off a Zach Yarechewski shot and Jordan Crawford buried a shorty in the third to put the game away.
BRANDON TOURNEY Dec. 7 vs Kelvin 5-2 W
The Buckeyes did a collective gut check and came out in a dominating fashion against the Clippers, building a 4-0 lead through one period on goals by Lafleur, Turner, Neilson, and Fincaryk. The game started to get ugly in the second with Kelvin getting frustrated. The Buckeyes held up well and managed to limit the silliness on their end. It was a steady parade to the box and that helped Lafleur score his second of the game to make it 5-0. Perhaps Miles Mac let up a bit after that, surrendering two shorthanded goals to make it somewhat interesting, but the Buckeyes continued to dominate play, peppering the Clippers with 45 shots, just failing to solve the goalie in the latter half.
BRANDON TOURNEY Dec. 7 vs. Morden 4-3 OTL
The boys were hoping to make a run on Saturday for the Clarion Div crown, but some key errors erased what probably should have been a win against a Morden squad that managed to hang around and then catch the Buckeyes in OT. Aaron Neilson continued with his scoring touch just a minute into the game, but the Thunder replied on a breakaway a few minutes later. The teams continued to trade goals in the same way. Owen Park finally notched his first of the season half way through the third to put the Buckeyes ahead 3-2, but a tough turnover in the neutral zone led to the Thunder tying it with just two minutes left. In OT a collection of bad reads led to a quick Morden goal, sending the Buckeyes to the consolation round. Miles Mac heavily outshot the Thunder, but couldn’t capitalize, and also snuffed out several power plays with penalties of their own.
BRANDON TOURNEY Dec. 6 vs. Garden City 3-1 L
The Buckeyes had a great opportunity to clash with one of the WHSHL’s best teams in an AM match. This was a game that where the upset was on the table but Miles Mac just didn’t step up and grab it. The team got a great game from Reece Overby who made several phenomenal stops and did what he had to do to give the team a chance. The Gophers scored one with under a second left in the second to take a 3-0 lead into the intermission. The boys defended better in this game, largely holding the big guns on the GC first line in check, but didn’t have much offensive zone time until an excellent third period. Aaron Neilson was able to narrow the lead to two with plenty of time left and the Buckeyes spent much of the third knocking on the door but couldn’t get any more past the GC goaltender. The boys will be back at it with two games tomorrow going for the championship in the Clarion bracket.
BRANDON TOURNEY Dec. 5 vs. Massey Brandon 6-1 W
The Buckeyes put the boots to the locals in this one. In fact, the score flattered the Vikings who were outclassed and outshot 40-6 in the contest. The teams traded goals in the early going, and then the Massey goaltender took the spotlight making some incredible saves. Kahl Dewar finally got one by him on a PP with a snipe from the slot after a nice pass from Bilugan but the Buckeyes only lead 2-1 after two. Miles Mac finally broke it open in the third as they continued to pour shots on net. Yarechewski, Fincaryk, and Neilson (2) rounded out the scoring. Colin Pelletier got the POG with one goal and one pretty assist, and Luke Tyslau was cowboy of the game.
Dec. 2 vs. St. Paul’sB 6-5 L
Miles Mac got off to a terrible start in this one with the Crusaders scoring just 15 seconds into the first period. After the Buckeyes tied it with a Nate Turner PP goal the visitors built a 3-1 lead with two quick ones, the second coming mere seconds after the first off the centre ice draw. Despite the gaffes the Buckeyes kept clawing their way back in the game, thanks largely to special teams. A couple Buckeyes got their first goals of the regular season when Luke Tyslau tipped one home on the PP and Merrick Hucul scored late on a rush going low blocker to find twine. The Buckeyes were able to build a 5-4 lead late in the second as Nate Turner completed the first hat trick of the season with two more PP goals. The boys were 4/5 on the PP and 5/5 on the PK on the night, but it wasn’t enough to make up for some bad bounces and poor attention to detail in the defensive zone. The Crusaders tied it right before the intermission on a turnover and then got the winner with just six minutes left on a bizarre goal that was batted in off the top of the net where the puck had come to rest. The Buckeyes buzzed all around in the final minute, narrowly missing some glorious opportunities to tie it, but ultimately likely got what they deserved in the loss after an uneven effort five on five. The team will need to clean that up and will get an opportunity in Brandon with five games coming up starting Thursday in the Vic Inns tournament.
Nov. 29 vs. Glenlawn 4-3 OTW
It was a much anticipated match between the Buckeyes and Lions. Glenlawn is off to an 11-1 start and took Miles Mac down by a six goal spread in October. The Buckeyes have been charging back ever since and it was clear that they came to play on this Friday afternoon on home ice. It was a closely contested first period, with the Lions striking first off a faceoff win and blast from the point. The Buckeyes would strike back late on a double minor PP when Nate Turner put it home from in close. Miles Mac would score just six seconds into the period on he second half of the double minor when a Quinn Sendrowski shot deflected top corner for the 2-1 lead. Miles Mac had a glorious chance to go up by two on a lengthy two man advantage but fired several shots wide of open nets. Miles Mac would get the 3-1 lead even strength when Sendrowski scored his second of the day from the top of the circle as he was being hauled down. Jayden Lafleur helped make the play with a nice pass on zone entry. The third period started with some high energy shifts, including a great PK effort by Quentin Clyke who held the Lions in their own end by himself for about 30 seconds. Unfortunately for Miles Mac the Lions would score near the end of the PP on a fluky goal after the puck bounced strangely off the back board and caught Reece Overby by surprise. Overby was stellar in the game as Glenlawn looked for the equalizer and the Buckeyes got tagged with some questionable calls down the stretch. Glenlawn found a way to jam one home with just four seconds left to force OT. It was a let down but Miles Mac regrouped quickly to get the win in OT. Aaron Neilson, fresh off a ten minute rest due to a misconduct, deftly slid a pass over on a two on one to Tyson Fincaryk who made no mistake and sent Buckeye fans home happy. Buckeyes are now 8-2 on the regular season for 22 points with a date with St. Paul’s on Monday.
Nov. 22 vs. West Kildonan 3-1 W
The Buckeyes were looking to get back on track with a home date at River East Arena vs. the Wolverines. The teams played to a scoreless first period with Miles Mac carrying the play but also surrendering some dangerous opportunities defensively where starter Zenon Toporoski had to be sharp. Aaron Neilson opened the scoring on a bit of a strange one. The Wolverine defender misplayed the puck behind the net on a regroup and it squirted out in front, unbeknownst to the West K goalie. Neilson swept in to tap it home. The Wolverines would find the equalizer on a nice passing play and one timer, but Neilson would strike again a few minutes later from the slot on a nice feed from Turner. The dynamic duo of Neilson and Turner had a great night and were knocking on the door a number of times in the game. Miles Mac only took one penalty all game but it came with the score 2-1 midway through the third. Miles Mac got a key kill with some great work by the special teams unit with Park, Clyke, and Tyslau doing a great job up front. Turner would put a bow on it in the empty net after a great read and forced turnover by Neilson late. The boys have a week off with several practices to get geared up for a huge game against division leading Glenlawn next Friday.
Nov. 18 vs. Leo Remillard 5-3 L
With the Buckeyes near the top of the WFP division standings the boys are seeing really motivated squads as opponents look for a measuring stick and to prove something. On this night the Renards looked more engaged and intense and the result was a disappointing loss. The home team showed an uncharacteristic lack of discipline and fell apart at the seams. Miles Mac was chasing this game all night as the Renards opened the scoring and maintained a lead most of the game. The Buckeyes couldn’t get out of their own way at times. Defensively, the team looked lost defensively as a five man unit. Fincaryk, Beaque (his first WHSHL goal) and Crawford had goals for the Buckeyes in the losing effort.
Nov. 16 STEINBACH TOURNEY vs. River East 6-1 L
In a bizarre twist the Buckeyes ended up having to face the Kodiaks again on the same day a few hours later. Miles Mac didn’t have much left in the tank for this one, and with not much on the line for either team in the consolation final the game lacked the same intensity as the first one. Dewar was able to extend his goal streak with another PP marker, but both teams were happy to see this one come to an end after four games in two days. No wins on the weekend for Miles Mac in Steinbach, but some great competition and some good lessons to take back to league play.
Nov. 16 STEINBACH TOURNEY vs. River East 3-3 T
The Buckeyes played the role of spoiler very well in this NK battle that was played out in SE Manitoba. Miles Mac converted on three of four power play attempts to knock the Kodiaks into the consolation round with a hard fought 3-3 tie. Kahl Dewar continued his hot play with two goals and Tyson Fincaryk, the POG, had the late one to tie in the third with a blast from the point. Reece Overby outmatched former teammate Manny Minuk in the goaltender duel, with the rest of the squad laying it on the line to scratch out the tie against the province’s number one ranked squad.
Nov. 15 STEINBACH TOURNEY vs. Steinbach 5-3 L
After a lunch together and some adjustments the Buckeyes came out flying against the tournament host Sabres. Steinbach was able to strike first blood, but the Buckeyes tied it a few minutes later with Kahl Dewar scoring his 10th of the season. The team had some momentum but saw it snuffed out with a couple late Sabre goals that gave them a 3-1 lead after the first. Miles Mac wasn’t able to recapture much jam in their game and the second period was not their finest. A prolonged two man advantage didn’t result in any goals and as is often the case the big kill led to a push back and the Buckeyes found themselves down 5-1 at the intermission. This one could have got ugly but credit to the Buckeyes for showing some resolve and competing hard in the third period. Nate Turner and Luke Tyslau had goals and Zenon Toporoski came in and got a blank sheet for the final 20 minutes as Miles Mac made it interesting in the final few minutes. The team will be looking for a three period effort tomorrow against the Kodiaks.
Nov. 15 STEINBACH TOURNEY vs. Lord Selkirk 4-1 L
Friday morning saw the Buckeyes head east to begin a tournament in Steinbach against some of the top teams in the WHSHL. It wasn’t a great start for Miles Mac as the Royals poured it on early but starter Reece Overby was stellar between the pipes. Kahl Dewar continued his goal streak with a late marker and the Buckeyes escaped the first period tied at 1-1. The Royals kept the pressure on and built a 3-1 lead going into the third. The Buckeyes woke up in the final frame, outshooting and outplaying Lord Selkirk but came up empty on the scoresheet. An empty netter by the Royals led to a 4-1 defeat in game one of the day.
Nov. 13 at Stonewall 7-4 W
Miles Mac made it six wins in a row with a convincing win at Stonewall. After a fairly poor effort against the Rams last week where the Buckeyes escaped with the win, the rematch wasn’t as close. The visitors had an early 1-0 lead when Crawford picked the pocket of the D man below the goal line and stuffed it in on a wrap around. Jayden Lafleur would make it 2-0 a short time later with his first of the year, putting it under the crossbar after a nice net drive by Brandon Bilugan. The period ended 3-2 Buckeyes as the Rams capitalized on a loose rebound and a late PP. The second period featured goals by both teams and Miles Mac took a 4-3 lead into the intermission. The game was sealed with two goals in less than a minute. The first was one of the nicer goals of the year. A determined Kahl Dewar dangled a few players at the top of the circle and snapped it across the seam to rookie D Dylan Goldsworthy who notched his first career goal with a beautiful bar down shot. Aaron Neilson would make it 6-3 a short time later, burying the puck on a goal mouth scramble as linemate Quinn Sendrowski played the roll of bowling ball and the Ram players the pins. Stonewall would score another to keep it interesting before Dewar scored late, his fourth point of the night, to finish it.
Nov. 6 at Beliveau 2-0 W
The Buckeyes made it five wins in a row with a hard fought win versus a solid Barracudas squad that came in undefeated. The teams traded punches in what was a tight checking and physical affair, but both Reece Overby and Sam De Pau were solid between the pipes with matching clean sheets through two periods. The latter stages of the second saw the game begin to swing in the favour of the Buckeyes in terms of possession and zone time as a solid forecheck began to yield results. Finally, the Buckeyes cashed in when Jordan Crawford made a beautiful feed to Kahl Dewar across the slot and the Buckeyes captain made no mistake. Beliveau had a few opportunities late that were snuffed out by nice saves by Reece Overby, but all night Miles Mac limited time and space and it was a particularly good game for the Buckeye blue line. Dewar salted the game away with an empty netter after forcing a turnover on a nice read. Miles Mac gets a week off from league play with three practices before they meet Stonewall on Nov. 13.
Nov. 4 vs. Stonewall 2-1 W
With a big win last week and a huge matchup with one of the division leaders in a few days, this game looked like a classic trap game and the Buckeyes fell into it, but managed to escape in the final moments with a very fortunate win against a hard working Stonewall squad. The Buckeyes registered a paltry 10 shots in the first 30 minutes of the game and were lucky to only be down 1-0. Miles Mac did manage to limit the Rams offence fairly effectively but had little counter punch. Toporoski made a couple key saves and got the benefit of a disallowed goal due to the net being dislodged from its moorings. The Buckeyes came out with more intensity in the third but were still fighting the puck and dealing with some sloppy passing. They fought through it however and Tyson Fincaryk finally cashed in a point shot with ten minutes left to even the score. Then, the dynamic duo of Aaron Neilson and Nate Turner gave the Buckeyes the lead with four minutes left with a pretty two on one cashed in by Turner. The Buckeyes had to kill two late penalties and the win was secured by some great work by the PK unit, in particular Owen Park who was consistently the best Buckeye on the ice in this one.
Nov. 1 vs. SJR 9-1 W
This game marked the first Buckeye home game at East St. Paul arena in the history of the team and it was a memorable one. Miles Mac looked fast and engaged from the drop of the puck but the Eagles were up to the task in the first period. Nate Turner was able to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead through 15 minutes. The game turned after a big penalty kill part way through the second period in which Buckeye goalie Zenon Toporoski, making his first regular season start, was stellar. Just eight seconds after the penalty expired, Nate Turner scored his second goal and the boys never looked back. The home team scored three more in a span of five minutes to open up a 5-0 lead going into the intermission, chasing the Eagles goalie from the net. The Buckeyes did not take their foot off the gas in the third, making it 8-0 before the half way mark of the frame. The only blemish was a late PP goal by the Eagles to ruin the shutout, but the Buckeyes put an exclamation point on the win with a Brandon Bilugan breakaway goal late for the 9-1 win. Turner, Neilson, and Sendrowski all had a pair of goals, with Sum and Clyke rounding out the scoring.
Oct. 30 vs. Kildonan East 5-4 OTW
Reivers-Buckeyes usually makes for an exciting and fast paced game and this one fit the bill. The game went back and forth for three periods plus an OT before the home squad pulled it out. Buckeyes opened the scoring when captain Kahl Dewar buried a rebound after some good work by linemates Brandon Bilugan and Quinn Sendrowski. After the Reivers tied it, Sendrowski got his second point of the night with a quick shot to the low blocker on the PP. The Reivers built a 3-2 lead before rookie Grade 9 Keegan Sum buried his first WHSHL goal. The defenceman evaded his checker at the blue line, found a lane, and fired a low blast that found twine. After the Reivers took a 4-3 lead in the third on the first of two curious double minors for head checks, Aaron Neilson scored a key goal to even it on a deft deke on a clear breakaway. After a huge four minute kill by the Buckeyes with some key shot blocks from Owen Park and some big saves by Reece Overby, the game went to OT. The Buckeyes dominated OT but couldn’t solve the Reiver goalie on not one but two breakaways. With time almost expired veteran Aaron Neilson scored his second big goal of the night on an absolute rocket top corner on a two on one to cue the celebration and two Buckeye wins in a row.
Oct. 26 at St. Paul’sB 5-3 W
The visitors came out in an ornery mood looking to wash the bad taste of an ugly defeat out of their collective mouths. Mission accomplished. The Buckeyes looked very strong coming out of the gate, skating hard and playing with more of an edge physically. It looked as if Tyson Fincaryk had opened the scoring on a first period PP but the goal was waved off when it was determined that Quinn Sendrowski interfered with the St. Paul’s goalie. The controversial call led to a scoreless first period. The Buckeyes exploded for four goals in the second period. Jordan Crawford opened the scoring on a nice shot from what looked like a harmless 3 on 2 rush. The Crusaders tied it on a PP but then Miles Mac scored three goals in just three minutes. The first was buried by Quentin Clyke who cashed in on a rebound in front of the net on the PP. Then, we saw two great individual efforts, first by Nate Turner on a sweet net drive from the wall on a 1 on 1 rush and then Kahl Dewar who undressed three Crusaders in their zone and buried. The best period for the Crusaders was the last frame. Good teams usually respond and St. Paul’s is a solid squad. They made it 4-2 early in the third and Reece Overby was forced to make a coupe key stops before Nate Turner scored his second of the game after some good work by Hucul and Neilson down low. St. Paul’s wouldn’t go away and scored late to make the last few minutes interesting but Buckeyes full marks for the win and are now 1-1 in the regular season.
Oct. 25 at Glenlawn 7-1 L
The Buckeyes started strong in this one, opening the scoring early on an Aaron Neilson rebound from a Colin Pelletier blast from the slot. Perhaps the team was feeling a bit too good about themselves with the early lead coming off a successful tournament because from that point on the team couldn’t seem to find any urgency or jam in their game. The Lions scored 4 PP goals and Miles Mac didn’t offer much of a response en route to a very disappointing 7-1 loss to open the regular season. Keys to success for the Buckeyes early have been the fact that they have played with speed, been first to pucks, and have had a very effective forecheck. The feet just weren’t moving in St. Vital and that led to the negative result. The good news is that the Buckeyes get a chance at redemption as early as tomorrow as they face off vs. St. Paul’s B.
Oct. 20 HUSKY TOURNAMENT – vs. Shaftesbury 4-3 SOL
The Buckeyes squared off with the Titans in the Sunday morning semi-final. The boys came out flying again, putting the A division squad on their heels. The Titans weathered the storm and then scored at the tail end of a PP to take a 1-0 lead into the break. The Buckeyes drew even half way through the second on the prettiest goal of the year. Merrick Hucul forced a turnover on the half wall after the Buckeyes had pushed the puck deep. Hucul found Nate Turner below the goal line and he showed patience and vision in finding defenseman Zach Yarechewski in the high slot. Yarechewski made no mistake, whistling one into the net top corner. Building on that momentum the Buckeyes struck on a power play when a nice shot from Jordan Crawford was redirected in front by Quinn Sendrowski who was providing excellent net front all game. The Titans drew even before the end of the second period, but the Buckeyes recaptured the lead thanks to another great play by Nate Turner on the forecheck. This time he found Aaron Neilson who, with the quick release, buried his first of the season. With the clock ticking down, Miles Mac could not hang on for the win. The Titans forced a turnover on a bit of a soft play by Miles Mac, and then made the Buckeyes pay, tying it with just a minute left and the goalie out of the net. Three on three OT solved nothing as both teams played a rather cautious extra time period. In the shootout, the Titans were sharper, burying two straight while Miles Mac failed on two straight attempts. Despite the tough loss, the Buckeyes had a great tournament and look ready for a big matchup with division favourite Glenlawn to finally open the regular season on Oct. 24.
Oct. 19 HUSKY TOURNAMENT – vs. JH Bruns 3-1 W
Miles Mac was taking on their second “A Division” team in as many days and the boys came up with a very impressive performance. The Buckeyes outplayed the Broncos in the first period, using their speed to be first to pucks and winning a lot of wall battles. Kahl Dewar continued his goal streak early in the first, and this was followed by Colin Pelletier’s first of the year for a 2-0 lead at the first intermission. The Broncos got one back but then got in some penalty trouble. Miles Mac wasted no time on a two man advantage when Evan Rollwagen, in his first appearance of the season, jumped in from the point to bury a shot off of a Tyson Fincaryk rebound. The Buckeyes looked to salt the game away in the third but despite many chances were still struggling to finish them. This kept the Broncos in the game and cued the stage for Reece Overby to make some huge stops late to preserve the first victory of the season for the boys. Miles Mac finishes second in Pool A and advance to the B bracket of the tournament, a great result in a very competitive event.
Oct. 18 HUSKY TOURNAMENT – vs. Vincent Massey Winnipeg 1-1 T
The Buckeyes made it back to back draws when they tied Massey 1-1 in game 2 of the Husky Tournament. Unlike a day before, the Buckeyes largely chased this game and relied on a superb outing by second year goalie Reece Overby to preserve the tie. Kahl Dewar scored his second goal in as many games on a nice tip. The boys battled hard for a tie with one of the league’s best teams.
Oct. 17 HUSKY TOURNAMENT – vs. SJR 2-2 T
The Buckeyes finally hit the ice 16 days after their final preseason game and 6 days after the home opener was postponed due to extreme weather. The boys were raring to go and really controlled the play against an outmanned Ravenscourt squad. Despite this, the Eagles built a 2-0 lead capitalizing on a couple Miles Mac errors. After Buckeye starter Zenon Toporoski made a big stop on a breakaway in the first period, the Eagles were allowed to bury the rebound on a defensive miscue. In the second, the Buckeyes got caught cheating in the neutral zone which turned into an odd man rush and a second Eagles goal. The Miles Mac rally started with a goal late in the second by Kahl Dewar. The Buckeyes dominated the third period but couldn’t solve Eagle goalie Matt Aitken or his posts until late in the third when Nate Turner buried a rebound. The game ended on a somewhat disappointing 2-2 tie as there is no overtime in tournament round robin.