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Nanton Palominos edge Fort Macleod Mustangs to win fourth consecutive Ranchland Hockey League title

Nanton goalie Myles Dunne turns aside a scoring chance as defenceman Matt Loiseau ties up Fort Macleod's Cody Berube.

Nanton goalie Myles Dunne turns aside a scoring chance as defenceman Matt Loiseau ties up Fort Macleod’s Cody Berube.

Fort Macleod goalie Cody Hall watches as the puck blasts through traffic in front of his crease provided by Nanton's Dillon Loomer (left) and Brady Egger.

Fort Macleod goalie Cody Hall watches as the puck blasts through traffic in front of his crease provided by Nanton’s Dillon Loomer (left) and Brady Egger.

Fort Macleod's Tyce Gallamore ties up Dillon Loomer of Nanton.

Fort Macleod’s Tyce Gallamore ties up Dillon Loomer of Nanton.

Fort Macleod Mustangs gave the defending Ranchland Hockey League champs all they could handle, but Nanton Palominos made it four in a row on Sunday.
The Palominos edged the Mustangs 2-1 Sunday to win a best-of-five series in which every game was decided by a one-goal margin.
The Mustangs now turn their attention to the Senior AA provincials this weekend at Nanton.
Fort Macleod plays in the tournament opener against Wainwright at 5 p.m. Friday, March 25.
Nanton 8 Mustangs 7
The series was tied heading into weekend play after the teams split a pair of one-goal games the previous weekend.
After two close-checking games that resulted in a total of 14 goals, the two teams exploded for 15 Friday night at Nanton.
When the ice chips had settled, Nanton had an 8-7 win on the strength of powerplay goal by Brady Hoetmer to take a 2-1 series lead.
Fort Macleod opened the scoring 3:23 into the first period with a powerplay goal by Bryce Lamb, assisted by Jadon Porterfield and captain Cole Matson.
Nanton replied with goals by Hoetmer and Brodie Eisbrenner and led 2-1 after 20 minutes.
Matson scored a shorthanded goal set up by Porterfield just 2:11 into the second period to tie the game.
Nanton replied with a powerplay goal by Tyler Haiste 42 seconds later and made it 4-2 a minute and a half later on a goal by Brandon Hoogenboom.
The gritty Mustangs fought back to tie the game on goals by Lamb and Brady Matson. Ty Provost, Cody Berube and Tyce Gallamore picked up assists.
Nanton regained the lead two minutes later on an unassisted shortie by Hoogenboom.
Less than a minute later Nanton got a goal from Dillon Loomer and just 24 seconds after that Hoetmer got his second of the game and the Palominos led 7-4.
Fort Macleod cut Nanton’s lead to two goals on a powerplay marker by Kent Broere, assisted by Lamb and Cole Matson with four minutes to go in the second frame.
The teams were scoreless through the first 11:41 of the third period until Broere got his second on a set-up from Gallamore.
Seventy-eight seconds later the Mustangs tied the game 7-7 on Austin Beck’s goal, with Dayn Opel assisting.
That set the stage for Hoetmer, who completed his hat trick with 3:34 to play to give Nanton an 8-7 win.
Cody Hall made 40 saves in the Fort Macleod goal.
Myles Dunne made 20 saves in the Nanton goal before getting pulled after Fort Macleod’s fifth goal. Bradley Dreger came on in relief and made 12 saves.
Nanton 2 Mustangs 1
With the series hanging in the balance the teams returned to Fort Macleod on Sunday for an afternoon tilt.
Smelling blood in the water, Nanton stormed the Fort Macleod net in the first period but Hall blocked all 12 shots to keep the Mustangs in the game.
The Mustangs tightened up defensively in the second period and held Nanton to just three shots,
In the Nanton goal, Dunne blocked the 10 shots sent his way over 40 minutes and the teams went into the dressing room deadlocked at 0-0.
The game turned early in the third as Nanton got goals just over a minute apart from Hoogenboom and Brady Egger to go up 2-0.
Fort Macleod battled and pulled to within a goal with 5:36 to go when Opel scored, assisted by Brady Matson and Gallamore.
That was as close as the Mustangs could get as Nanton held on for a 2-1 win to claim their fourth Ranchland title in a row.

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