Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Hawks Game 4 Win Regains Home Ice:
A bounce back game from Davis Jones, a perfect penalty kill, goals from players who needed them... All in all, it was a great night if you're a Hawks fan, as they escaped with a 4-3 win at the Whitney Forum on Tuesday to deadlock the Best of Seven series at 2 games apiece.
Much like Game 3, the game got started with an early goal. This time, it was the Hawks who got it though, as Tad Kozun and Eli Lichtenwald walked in and Kozun made the pass as Lichtenwald scored his 2nd goal of the playoffs, beating Devin Buffalo glove side to make it 1-0 Hawks at just 57 seconds. It would take awhile for the second goal, so Brady Zerr provided the excitement in between Hawks markers when his emotions boiled over following a Bomber-inspired scrum. Zerr and Brody Robinson got to get the mitts shed for a short tilt right inside the Bomber defensive zone, at 6:47. At 15:12 Eli Lichtenwald added his 2nd goal of the night when he worked hard along the end boards using his patience and his ability to glide out from behind the net while getting the puck up high on Buffalo for the 2-0 Hawk lead. Tad Kozun picked up his 2nd assist of the night, more to come, and Wheaton King also nabbed a helper, his 2nd of the series. Shots were even at 9 apiece after 1 but the Hawks had momentum up by a pair, with the teams starting 4 on 4 thanks to Grant Jensen and Greg Wiwcharuk getting involved in post-whistle altercations.
Jason Wark opened the 2nd period scoring with a questionable slap shot that appeared to be in the net from the officials' angle, but despite the referees consulting the call, it stood for the Bombers first of the game, cutting the lead to 2-1. Wark drew helpers from Wiwcharuk and Spencer Mault. Nipawin would restore the lead though, with just under 5 minutes to play in the period. Tad Kozun scored a beautiful goal similar to Lichtenwalds', as both walked out and beat Buffalo high at the side of the net. For both Tad and Eli, it was their 3rd points of the evening. Just under 3 minutes after that, the lead got cut back to one as Landon Hiebert scored from Mault and Cam Blair. The Hawks managed to escape the period up by a goal, despite being outshot 17-10 through 40 minuts.
The Hawks, much like multiple times this season and series, struck back at the Bombers with another goal to add insurance. This time it was Tayler Balog beating Buffalo, with the lone helper going to Ben Johnstone. Balog's first of the series added to his previous total of 2 assists, giving him a point per game through 3 games in the lineup. Midway through the period, with the Bombers doing everything they could it eventually worked. Spencer Mault banged home a puck in after Davis Jones made one of many huge stops of the night, putting the Bombers right back in it. On the assists were Riley Storzuk and Jason Wark. Jones made several late game saves at the play in the defensive zone stepped it up perfectly in the dying minutes, clearing pucks away frequently before the Bombers developed too much opportunity, not that Jones wouldn't have just stopped that too. The final buzzer rang as the puck was out of danger, and the Hawks skated to victory, with a 4-3 win to tie the series 2-2 heading back to Nipawin for Game 5 on Thursday night.
Final shots were 38-32 in favor of the Bombers, as Tad Kozun, Eli Lichtenwald and of course Davis Jones, stole the show. Those 3 players would take home all 3 of the Three Star honors, but who you want as 1st Star or as 3rd Star is up to you. Jones finished with 35 saves while Buffalo made 28 stops in the loss, as both teams went 0/4 on the man advantage. Nipawin's powerplay is now 0/17 on the series, while the Bombers have just a single tally, and a shorthanded goal as well.
Tickets for Game 5 will go on sale today at noon, until 4:00 PM. The Box Office will again open tomorrow at the Cage at 2:00 PM right up until game time. You can catch the broadcast from the Centennial Arena beginning at 7:15 on CK750 and online at YourTownNews.ca, when the Hawks regain home ice advantage as the series now turns in to a best of three.
Throw on the yellow, paint on some black, and make some noise for the Hawks as they welcome the Bombers on Thursday night, then hit the road on Saturday for Game 6 in Flin Flon! That game will be broadcast on CK750, like all games in the 2013 Playoffs. Due to the time change, it is a 6:15 Saskatchewan time pregame show, and 6:30 puckdrop.
See you at the Cage!