Sixty minutes. Three periods. One game. That’s all that separates the Shaunavon Pee Wee Badgers from a provincial title.
The local squad took a giant step towards capturing the SHA “C” division championship on the weekend after scoring a 6-3 win over the Unity Pee Wee Lazers in the opening game of the provincial final. The contest was played in Unity on Sunday afternoon. The Badgers will now carry a three-goal advantage into the second game of the two-game, total-point series. The rematch will be played on Saturday in Shaunavon at the Crescent Point Wickenheiser Centre. Despite the three-goal cushion, head coach Devin Floberg says the Badgers still face a tough test against the Lazers. “It should be a good game – it’s definitely one that people should come out and see,” said Floberg. The Badgers earned their advantage with a five-goal outburst in the second period of Sunday’s game. The two teams were scoreless after 20 minutes of play, before Badger captain Brock Oberle finally broke the ice with a goal just over two minutes into the second period. The Badgers scored another four markers in the second frame – while Unity responded with only one tally of their own – as the Badgers grabbed a 5-1 lead. Unity outscored the Badgers 2-1 in the third period – at one point narrowing the advantage to 5-3 – to make things interesting as the series heads back to Shaunavon this weekend. Oberle, who has enjoyed a remarkable season for the Badgers, once again led the team’s offensive charge with a four goal outing. Taylor Lind and Tyson Goffinet had the team’s other goals. “He (Oberle) had a good game, but we expect that from him,” said Floberg. Goffinet and Colt Kornfeld had two assists each for Shaunavon, while single helpers went to Lind and Matt Fuller. Joel Timmermans, Ethan Scherr and Dillon Poschenrieder replied for Unity. Janson Davidson picked up the win in net for the Badgers. “We played well the whole game,” said Floberg. “They have a big, physical team. It’s the most physical team we’ve faced so far. But I think we might have an edge with quickness.” “I’m pretty confident of our team, but they’re still kids – you never know,” he added. Floberg hopes his team is prepared for a good start against Unity on Saturday. In the previous series against Davidson in the southern final, the Badgers returned home with a 6-4 lead but saw that advantage disappear in the first period as the visitors scored three quick goals for a 3-0 lead. The Badgers later recovered for a 6-3 win in the game and a 12-7 win in the series. “We’ve had some slow starts before, but the kids never get too flustered,” said Floberg. “They never get too down on themselves and they also just battle through it.” The warm up for Saturday’s game is set for 4 p.m. on Saturday (March 29). The puck drop should be approximately 4:30 p.m. although some games have been starting a bit early.