Briercrest plays admirably, Kings take 2-1 decision

Posted: October 11, 2014

It's easy to grow accustomed to the honour, determination, and class with which

the Briercrest Clippers hockey team plays. Saturday afternoon's game against the Red Deer Kings displayed those attributes in a manner that impressed even the seasoned viewer. 

The game plan of certain Kings' players was as clear as it was reprehensible, with physical play that crossed the line early and often. Leading off for the guests was Alex Marcinew, who sat for two minutes after elbowing Briercrest's Brett Lafond in the head. The Clippers power play shortened his time in the box, as Aaron Armstrong took a feed from Josh Anderson and Taylor Epp and dangled into the slot before beating Red Deer's standout goaltender, Mike Salmon, blocker side. Marcinew deepened the Red Deer rut to the penalty box seven minutes later, having been given 2+10 for a meltdown again with Lafond. The teams headed into the first intermission with Briercrest holding a 1-0 advantage on the scoreboard but a decided disadvantage in the "slamming sticks against the boards" tally.

The tension ratcheted up in the second period, as both teams traded chances and the goaltending duel intensified. Both Red Deer's Salmon and Briercrest's Connor Dobberthein made highlight reel saves as both teams created quality chances. On his featured athlete day, Briercrest defenceman Micah Abbott was excellent, calmly defusing a number of threatening attacks by the Kings. Red Deer would finally solve Dobberthein on a tipped shot during a late period power play to tie the game up at one heading into the second intermission.

With twenty minutes remaining, Briercrest charged out of the gate to start the final period. Armstrong lifted the fans out of their seats with his stick handling past Kings' defenders, and first year forward Ben Feere had a good backhand chance, but once again Salmon shut the door. It looked as if neither goaltender would be beat again, but Red Deer was able to capitalize with nine minutes remaining to take the lead. On three occasions in the waning moments of the game, Red Deer was penalized for dirty hits, but the Briercrest power play would not solve Salmon again and the hard fought contest ended 2-1 in favour of the visitors. 

If Briercrest’s measure of success is winning at all costs, they did not achieve that Saturday afternoon. If, however, their goal is to compete at the highest level in the ACAC and do so with integrity and sportsmanship, they showed themselves worthy of all their support. Players of the game were Aaron Armstrong for the Clippers and Riley Simpson for the Kings. 

You will be able to find updates on the hockey team by liking the Briercrest Hockey Facebook page.