After a difficult defeat against Yorkton, the Kamsack Atom Flyers bounced back in fine fashion to gain a split of two games over the past weekend.
On November 23, the Flyers hit the highway for the first road game of the year. The game was in Yorkton and the opponent was the Yorkton Medicine Shoppe Terriers.
The first period saw the Flyers attack the Yorkton squad for the first couple shifts of the game. Flyers players had a couple of “Grade A” chances to put them on the board but Yorkton’s goalie No. 29 Carson Kerluke came up big with some big saves to keep the game scoreless. With those early saves, the Yorkton tender gave his teammates momentum and created some doubt in the minds of the Kamsack players. The first goal of the game came seven minutes into the opening frame with a little controversy. A shot by No. 16 Emmanuel Adelfolarin from the Yorkton squad looked like it was stopped and underneath the right pad of the Flyers goalie No. 1 Shayla Allard. But the referee had signalled a goal. If there was video review on the play, the Flyers coaching staff were pretty sure the call would have been overturned.
Unfortunately for the Flyers, it did not look like they had their legs under them for the first period. They looked tired and sluggish and with that comes mental mistakes. Yorkton scored four goals in the first and every one of them was the result of a Flyer turnover at one of the blue lines. The Flyers headed back into their dressing room at the end of the first down 4 to 0.
It definitely wasn’t the Flyers night. The second period started just like the first ended, with Kamsack turning pucks over and giving up odd man rushes on every shift. The Flyers team watched Yorkton score two more goals before replying with one of its own. No. 15 Kealand Thomas took a pass from linemate No. 9 Chase Hembling and scored to put the Flyers on the board. With the game at 6 to 1 in favour of Yorkton, No. 10 Jack Gareau of the Flyers tried to ignite his team with a hard-nosed goal. Gareau went hard to the net with his hard hat and lunch pail. He worked hard to fight off a defender and sniped a rebound goal in the top shelf, “where mommy keeps the cookies.”
The Flyers players started to generate some momentum their way. But Yorkton was too much for them on this night. The Terriers pulled away and defeated the Flyers 9 to 4.
A positive note the Flyers could take from this game was that they would get a chance to redeem themselves two days later at home against the Melville Silver Knights team.
Coming into the November 25 affair against the visiting Silver Knights, the Kamsack squad had something to prove.
The team was coming off of its first defeat of the season in Yorkton. The game would prove to be a good test for the Flyers team which had not lost on home ice yet this season. The Flyers players knew that they would have to clean up a few defensive deficiencies from their game on Friday if they were to have chance of winning this one.
The Kamsack faithful spectators were interested to see how this team would react after the first loss of the season just two days prior. Now, every successful hockey team usually has one or two players step up to lead their team to victory on any given night and throughout a season even the best hockey teams might have to rely on their goalie every once in a while to make a key save at a crucial point in a game or even have to ask their tender to steal a game or two throughout the course of a season.
Well, on this night the Flyers had to rely on No.1 Shayla Allard to come up big in the net. Without hesitation Allard was right there for her team as she had to stand on her head early and often to let the rest of the team get their mojo going. In the first period Allard made some unbelievable saves on the Melville shooters.
Within the first seven minutes of the first period she made saves on two breakaways, two scrambles in front of her and a marvelous save on a one timer from the slot. To say the least Allard was dialed in.
With the great goaltending they were getting, her Flyers teammates rewarded her with a one goal lead as No. 9 Chase Hembling drove wide on a defender and put in a nice goal five minutes into the first period. The lead would not last long as Melville tied it up on a scramble in front of the net with No. 15 Jayden Coder potting the tying goal to draw even with the Flyers.
The action was back and forth all period long. Without the concentration and great play of Allard, Melville could easily have been up by more than 2 to 1 at the end of the first.
With the Flyers players knowing that Allard was on top of her game, they wanted to help her out and score some goals in the second frame. So, less than a minute into the middle frame No. 5 Kealand Thomas fired home a goal set up on a beautiful drop pass from his centre No. 9 Chase Hembling. These two players are showing everyone that they are tough to defend against.
But Melville did not wilt. They scored the next goal with 16:20 left in the second to go up by one.
Still in the middle frame Allard had to stand tall in the Kamsack net and make key saves as she stopped two more odd man rushes. Her save of the game came just after Melville tied it up. Kamsack players were hemmed in their zone for over a minute. There were two shots from the point, kicked to the corner. On a shot from the slot, Allard made a blocker save. Then a cross-crease pass went to a wide open Silver Knight player that shot it and Allard came across and made the save and also held on to the rebound to get the much needed whistle for the Flyers. With the momentum swing that Allard provided her team, the scoring line of No. 15 Kealand Thomas and No. 9 Chase Hembling went back to work. Thomas converted on a rebound shot made by Hembling to tie up the game at 3 going into the second intermission.
The Kamsack Atom Flyers were ready to let the visitors know that nobody comes into their barn and walks away with a win. So in the third period the Flyers pulled out all the stops. Goaltender Allard continued to show her team that she was all business, turning away any Melville chances and even got help from her high-pitched friends, the goal posts.
The offensive play of her teammates Thomas and Hembling really took over in the third as well. These two players are starting to find some great chemistry, and scored all of the third period goals scored for the Flyers in back and forth play.
Hembling potted a natural hat trick and Kealand Thomas added another to give himself a hat trick for the game. At the final horn Flyers came away with a hard fought 7 to 5 win. Every team member congratulated No. 1 Shayla “The Wall” Allard as these kids knew their goalie played robber and just stole the game for them.
The next game will be November 30 against the Yorkton Deneschuk team during Kamsack’s Midnight Madness.