Estevan Senchuk Atom A Mustangs' head coach Chad Farr believes the team came together at the right time, and that helped them reach Hockey Regina's league final.
The fifth-seeded Mustangs lost 3-1 to the No. 1 Regina Chill on March 16 in the championship game. The Mustangs had won four straight games during the second weekend of the playoffs, and six straight playoff games overall, to reach the final.
They opened the second weekend of playoffs by winning 2-1 over the Regina Wolves – the team that beat Estevan in the Mustangs first playoff game. Then Estevan routed the Weyburn Blizzard 7-1.
“That was a big win for us,” Farr said. “The girls gained a tremendous amount of confidence with their play in that win.
“Weyburn beat us all year. They dominated us because they're a bigger team. That was the game that brought us together, showed that we can compete in this league, and possibly win it all.”
Estevan then upset the second-seeded Regina Ice 4-2 to advance to the league final. Kayla Wanner scored three times, and Cammi Mytopher had the winning goal early in the middle frame.
Estevan beat the Regina Chill 4-1 in the first game of the final. Bailey Farr scored twice to give Estevan a 2-0 lead. The Chill cut the lead in half, but Wanner scored with 37 seconds to play in the second, and Mytopher extended the lead to three in the third.
It was just the second loss for the Chill in league and playoff action this year.
But the Mustangs needed to beat the Chill twice to win the title, while the Chill needed just one win over Estevan to become the champions.
Farr scored in the second to give Estevan the lead in Game 2. The advantage held up until the final 12 minutes of the third, when the Chill scored three times in a nine-minute span.
“(Their first goal) was a shot that went off one of our defenceman's stick, and the puck went up in the air, and up and over our goalie, and it surprised her a little bit,” said Farr. “Our girls froze from there, and we ran out of gas.”
Taylor Dickie was in goal for all of the playoff games.
Farr said the players did the little things right, particularly the position play, in the playoffs.
Five players of the 11 players on the Mustangs are eligible to return next year.
The Estevan Power Dodge Bantam A Chargers were knocked out of provincial contention when they lost 2-1 to the Springside Lions in a two-game, total-goal south final series.
Estevan won Game 1 on March 14 at home. Jasynn Monteyne had Estevan's only goal, but it was enough for Estevan to have the lead in the series.
Springside won Game 2 2-0 to advance to the provincial final.
Ashlyn Taillon was in goal for both games.
Chargers' top scorer Megan LeBlanc did not play in either game due to a leg injury sustained in league playoffs against Moose Jaw.
The Chargers season is ongoing, though, as they're playing the South West Cyclones in the league final. The Cyclones won Game 1 4-3 in triple overtime on March 19 in Estevan. Game 2 is slated for the 22nd in Gull Lake. Game 3, if necessary, would be the following day in Estevan.