Caelan Mander celebrates his overtime winner on Tuesday night, his second goal of the night, taking home a 5-4 win for the Delta Ice Hawks. Photo: Tav Morrison
The first round matchup between the Ice Hawks and Steelers kicked off with a nail-biter, as the host Ice Hawks took a 5-4 win in overtime.
Both offences got off to a slow start, with the shots 9-4 Delta after the first period, but it picked up for both teams, with the shots eventually finishing 51-30 Delta for an exciting first game of the series.
Midway through the first period, the Steelers opened the scoring on the power play seconds into the man-advantage to take a 1-0 lead.
Before the end of the frame though, Caelan Mander was down low in the Steelers zone and made a nifty move to deke out goalie Ronin Geraghty to slide the puck into an open net to tie it 1-1 with just 27 seconds left to go.
The Ice Hawks carried that momentum into the second period, with Alec Scouras scoring two of the goals to boost Delta’s lead. His first goal started with Carson Hemenway bouncing a pass off the boards at centre ice to Scouras and he did the rest of the work to give the Hawks their first lead of the night.
Between Scouras’ goals came a goal from Payton Hu on the power play. With time winding down in the man-advantage, Hu was in the right place at the right time out front to pot a rebound to make it 3-1 Delta.
The Steelers would get one back to draw within one, but Scouras reclaimed the two-goal lead. Carson Merriman battled for the puck down low and it ended up on Scouras’ stick. He looped out front from behind the net and shot. Geraghty got a good chunk of the puck, but it snuck through and dribbled over the goal line for a 4-2 lead heading into the third.
Grandview had the only goals of the third period – one at full strength and one on the power play – to tie the game at four and forcing overtime.
It took nearly the entire 10-minute extra frame, but with 24 seconds left, Mander got open in the slot and Carson Merriman gave him the perfect pass from below the goal line for an easy chip-in to win Game 1.