The Trail Commercial Hockey League playoff race is coming down to the wire with four teams still in a battle for a playoff spot.
Every game is must win for four of the five TCHL teams. OK Tire has already locked up first place, while Re/Max, Gericks, All Star, and Arlington go toe-to-toe for the final-four berths with just two games remaining and only two points separating the four teams.
Re/Max regained its tenuous hold onto second place with a 6-3 victory against Arlington on Thursday followed by a 6-6 tie with the A on Saturday, while Allstar slipped a notch losing 4-3 to OK Tire Saturday after falling to Gericks 3-1 Thursday.
Allstar’s loss to the Tire was a crucial blow to the team’s chances. Allstar led 2-1 after the first period on goals from James Booth and Jason Proulx, while Robert Baker replied for the Tire. But a Kelly McKay marker tied it for Tire at the 19 minute mark of the second and Chris Kissock’s 10th goal of the season from Paul Matteucci put the Tire up 3-2 with eight minutes to play in the middle frame.
Kyle Shannon tied the game for Allstar scoring his 13th of the year on a gutsy individual effort four minutes later, but the Tire’s Evan MacKay spoiled the comeback, firing in a Baker pass with 80 seconds to play for a 4-3 victory.
In Saturday’s other match, a shorthanded Arlington team managed to steal a point from the realtors, thanks to a five-goal night from Pat Iannone. The A jumped out to a 3-2 lead in the first period with Daryl Zol scoring the second goal for Arlington, while Kieran Hill scored twice for Re/Max.
The Arlington went up 4-2 to start the second but two goals 60 seconds apart tied it for Re/Max midway through the middle frame. The teams exchanged a pair of goals each in the final half of the period for an anticlimactic 6-6 tie.
Re/Max defeated the Arlington on Thursday, 6-3, on the strength of a Graham Proulx hat trick and goals from Steven Simister, Keiran Hill, and Paul Barclay.
Gericks, meanwhile, kept pace with Re/Max with a 3-1 victory over Allstar. Craig Clare, Ross McDonell, and Travis Drake scored for Gericks, while Spencer Piccolo tallied the lone goal for Allstar.
The TCHL continues on Thursday with Gericks facing Re/Max at 7:15 p.m. and Arlington taking on OK Tire in what could be a do-or-die match up for the Big A at 8:30 p.m. They resume play on Sunday with Re/Max going against Gericks at 2:15 p.m. and Allstar versus OK Tire at 3:30 p.m. at the Cominco Arena.
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