With the Trail Commercial Hockey League season heading into its final week, Gericks breathed new life into its playoff hopes with a vital 5-2 win over Arlington on Sunday at the Cominco Arena.
Gericks shut down a vaunted Arlington attack, holding the league’s highest scoring team to just two goals on Sunday to seize control of its own playoff fate. Trailing fourth place Arlington by just two points in the standings, Gericks has three games remaining and can capture the fourth and final playoff spot by winning two of those games, while the Big A plays its final match of the season this weekend against league-leading Re/Max.
Gericks’ Eric Hill scored the winning goal 11 minutes into the second period on a set up from Steve Walker and Craig Clare to jump out to a 3-0 lead. It was Hill’s second of the game and 27th of the season, after opening the scoring at the eight minute mark of the first period.
Clare made it 2-0 midway through the second, and after Hill’s winner a minute later, Walker would give Gericks a four goal lead. The Big A got on the board when Kris Davis wired an Al McMartin pass by Gerick’s goalie Mike Kooznetsoff, and Darryl Zol would cut the lead to 4-2 with three minutes to play in the middle frame.
Brett Johnson iced it for the G-Men in the third with the assist going to Al Berglund, who picked up three helpers, while Hill had a four-point night with two goals and two assists.
The realtors, meanwhile, captured the TCHL regular-season title with a 10-4 victory over Allstar last Thursday and a 6-3 win over OK Tire on Sunday.
Re/Max spread its scoring around as six different scorers paced the league champs to a 6-3 victory over the Tire. Re/Max fell behind 3-0 in the first period on goals from Darrin Williams, Troy Palmer, and Justin Adrian, but they would fire back in the second beginning with a Luke Russell tally five minutes in. Veteran forward Derrick Simister showed he still has something left in his bag of tricks, taking a pass from a young Justin Bedin and beating Tire goalie Rocky Dickson to cut the lead to 3-2. Former Smoke Eater Paul Barclay tied it on a great individual effort at the 15 minute mark and Graham Proulx would score the winning goal on a set up from Gabe Gaudet and Dyne Parker just two minutes later.
D-man Grant Tyson would net his second goal of the season, scoring on a pass from Jason Vecchio to make it 5-3, and Parker netted his 22nd of the season to round out the scoring in the final minute of the middle frame.
On Thursday, the Tire secured a playoff spot with a 7-5 victory over the Arlington. Jeff Sidey netted two goals and an assist, Palmer scored twice and assisted on two, and Adrian had a three point night (1G, 2A), to give the Tire a two-point cushion on the A.
Pat Iannone and Nathan Ehman each scored a goal and added two assists, while Jeremy Robinson had two tallies in the losing cause.
In Re/Max’s 10-4 drubbing of Allstar last week, Gaudet had an epic night netting a hat trick and adding four assists for his biggest output of the season, his seven points overshadowing a perfunctory night from Graham Proulx who delivered a six-point (2G, 4A) outburst. Allstar’s leading scorer Evan MacKay scored twice and added two assists.
OK Tire can take over second place with a win over Allstar tonight at 7:15 p.m. and Gericks will look to draw even with the Arlington for the fourth and final playoff spot, when they faceoff against Re/Max at 8:30 p.m.