Fort Macleod Mustangs won two games at Stand Off on the weekend to eliminate Kainai Braves and advance to the Ranchland Hockey League finals.
The Mustangs, who placed second in regular season standings, will take on the first-place Nanton Palominos, who have not lost a league of playoff game this season, in a best-of-seven series.
The Palominos reached the finals by eliminating Piikani Regulators in their best-of-five series.
The best-of-five series gets under way Friday, March 10 at Nanton, with the second game Saturday, March 11 at Fort Macleod. Both games start at 8:30 p.m.
Mustangs 6 Kainai 5
The teams split the first two games of the series the previous weekend at Fort Macleod and were tied 1-1 as the series shifted to Stand Off.
The Mustangs opened the scoring five minutes into the game with a goal by Ashton Zintel, assisted by James Price and Dayn Opel.
Tyce Gallamore scored five minutes later, assisted by Leo Lacourciere, and Fort Macleod led 2-0.
Ferguson Calf Robe got Kainai’s first goal with three minutes left in the opening period, assisted by Mike White Quills.
Kainai took the lead in the second period when White Quills scored a pair of goals just over a minute apart. Cam Creighton and Cody Healy picked up assists.
Fort Macleod tied the game 46 seconds later of a goal by Lacourciere, assisted by Brady Matson.
The Mustangs regained the lead with 8:23 left in the second period when Price took a pass from Cole Matson and beat Kainai goalie Danny Weasel Fat.
Cole Matson made it 5-3 for the Mustangs when he scored less than two minutes into the third period, assisted by Brady Matson and Price.
Kainai wasn’t going away, however.
Jeremy Weasel Moccasin scored 23 seconds after Matson to cut Fort Macleod’s lead to 5-4.
Three minutes later Kash Shade found the back of the net, assisted by Creighton, to tie the game 5-5.
Twenty-six seconds later Price scored what provide to be the winner with 8:23 to play, assisted by Brady Matson.
Kainai fired 43 shots at Fort Macleod goalie Alex Sirard while the Mustangs put 41 shots on Weasel Fat.
Mustangs 9 Braves 3
The Mustangs had to overcome adversity Saturday night in order to clinch the series.
The Braves stormed out of the dressing room and built a 3-1 lead in the first period, looking at though they would force a fifth and deciding game.
Fort Macleod had other ideas, though, scoring two unanswered goals in the second period to tie it 3-3.
The Mustangs scored early in the third to take the lead, and then added five goals in the final eight minutes to clinch a 9-3 win.
Leo Lacourciere scored three times and Tyce Gallamore had two goals and two assists for the Mustangs.
Brady Welsh, James Price and Ashton Zintel each had a goal and an assist and Dayn Opel also scored.
Brady Matson had three assists and Ty Thomson and Cole Matson each had one.
Mike White Quills, Jeremy Weasel Moccasin and Cam Creighton scored for Kainai.