Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba played in the 2019 Canada Winter Games quarter-finals on Wednesday, February 20, but only two teams have advanced to the semi-finals. After suffering a 7-3 loss against Québec, B.C. will move to the relegation round at Canada Winter Games; however, the hope for a Western team to medal still lives on in Saskatchewan and Alberta following their play in the quarter-finals.
Manitoba 3 at Ontario 6
In the only meeting of provincial neighbours Wednesday, Ontario doubled up Manitoba by a 6-3 score.
Three first-period goals put Ontario in a comfortable lead for the rest of the game, with Manitoba getting within a single goal twice.
Eric Alarie (Winnipeg, Man./Moose Jaw Warriors) had a goal and an assist while Skyler Bruce (Winnipeg, Man./Kootenay ICE) and captain Carson Lambos (Winnipeg, Man./Kootenay ICE) also scored.
Hudson Thornton (Winnipeg, Man./Prince George Cougars) and Conor Geekie each picked up an assist in the loss.
Tyler Brennan (Winnipeg, Man./Prince George Cougars) stopped 44 shots in the loss.
Nova Scotia 3 at Saskatchewan 6
Doubling the score against Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan dominated in a 6-3 win.
Defenceman Karter Prosofsky (Saskatoon, Sask./Kootenay ICE) opened the scoring within the first 10 minutes, which was followed by a Nova Scotia goal to tie the game. In the second period, Saskatchewan scored twice with thanks to Logan Linklater (Kindersley, Sask./Prince Albert Raiders) and Gabe Klassen (Prince Albert, Sask./Portland Winterhawks) to continue the lead over Nova Scotia, who only managed one goal.
Saskatchewan safely secured their win in the third period with an additional three goals coming from Ashton Ferster (Prince Albert. Sask./ Medicine Hat Tigers), Nolan Allan (Davidson, Sask./ Prince Albert Raiders) and Cole Sillinger (Regina, Sask./ Medicine Hat Tigers), who capitalized on the empty net. After producing their final goal in the third, Nova Scotia was unable to catch Saskatchewan, succumbing to a 6-3 loss.
Sillinger, Ferster, Kevin Anderson (Regina, Sask./ Kootenay ICE) and Logen Hammett (Regina, Sask./ Brandon Wheat Kings) each picked up one assist in the Saskatchewan win.
Brett Mirwald (Saskatoon, Sask./Moose Jaw Warriors) stopped 34 of 37 shots for the victory.
British Columbia 3 at Québec 7
Unable to get past the ‘beasts from the East’, B.C. fell in a 7-3 loss against Québec, resulting in a move to the consolation round.
Up 1-0, Québec had an early lead in the second period, but B.C.’s Caedan Bankier (Surrey, B.C./Kamloops Blazers) was able to match the score with a short-handed rush. Later in the game, Québec’s offence exploded with a 5-1 lead until fifth overall Western Hockey League 2018 Bantam Draft selection Logan Stankoven (Kamloops B.C./Kamloops Blazers) scored two goals to B.C.’s tally in the last 10 minutes of the third. Adding another two goals to seal their win, Québec will advance to the semi-finals.
Tyson Galloway (Kamloops, B.C./ Calgary Hitmen) and Trevor Wong (Vancouver, B.C./ Kelowna Rockets) each managed an assist on B.C. goals.
B.C.’s netminder Thomas Milic (Coquitlam, B.C./ Seattle Thunderbirds) faced 55 shots.
New Brunswick 3 at Alberta 8
Although a very close game in the first period, Alberta dominated New Brunswick in the second and third to secure their spot in the semi-finals.
Tyson Laventure (Lloydminster, Alta./ Prince Albert Raiders) and Matt Savoie (St. Albert, Alta., 2019 WHL Bantam Draft) scored twice in the game while Dylan Guenther (Edmonton, Alta./ Edmonton Oil Kings), Zack Ostapchuk (St. Albert, Alta./ Vancouver Giants), Brett Hyland (Edmonton, Alta./ Brandon Wheat Kings) and Craig Armstrong (Airdrie, Alta./ Prince George Cougars) also added goals to Alberta’s win. With New Brunswick only able to respond three times in the game, they were easily outnumbered.
Kai Uchacz (De Winton, Alta./ Seattle Thunderbirds) notched three assists during the game while Guenther and Jayden Grubbe (Calgary, Alta./ Red Deer Rebels) also added a pair of helpers on two occasions. Savoie, Olen Zellweger (Fort Saskatchewan, Alta./ Tri-City Americans), Matt Smith (Edmonton, Alta./ Edmonton Oil Kings), Owen MacNeil (Calgary, Alta./ Spokane Chiefs), Corson Ceulemans and Kyle Masters (Edmonton Alta./ Red Deer Rebels) also tallied one assist in the 8-3 win.
With both Alberta goaltenders playing in the game, Lochlan Gordan (Edmonton, Alta./ Portland Winterhawks) stopped eight of 11 shots and Drew Sim (Tees, Alta./ Vancouver Giants) stopped all eight shots that came his way.
Semi-final action set
On Thursday, February 21 (4:00 p.m. MT), Québec and Saskatchewan will meet at The Centrium while Alberta and Ontario meet afterward at 7:30 p.m. MT.
The winners of each game will advance to the gold medal game on Friday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m. MT at the Centrium.
The battle for fifth through eighth place at the Canada Winter Games is also set.
At 12:30 p.m. MT, Manitoba and New Brunswick will meet at the Centrium while B.C. and Nova Scotia meet at the Kinex Arena.
In placement round semifinals Wednesday, Samuel Schofield (Yellowknife, NWT./Swift Current Broncos) had a goal and an assist in a 6-2 loss to P.E.I.