With overtime potentially looming, Coquitlam Adanacs captain Reid Bowering made sure the game was resolved within 60 minutes.
Bowering – not counted on for his scoring – finished in transition, snapping a 9-9 with 6:54 to play. Thomas Semple added another as the Adanacs hung on for the 11-9 win over the Okotoks Raiders.
“He is a big-game player and when we need a goal, he steps up,” said Adanacs assistant coach Jason Bishop. “He is a special player and an amazing leader.”
Okotoks’ captain Harrison Matsuoka opened the scoring 30 seconds into the game but that would the lone Raider lead of the night.
The Raiders did show great resiliency as three times they battled back from two-goal deficits, before time ran out in their comeback bid.
“It wasn’t our best game,” Bishop admitted. “I thought we could have scored a few more goals (but) we just want to learn from our experience and get better.”
While never happy with a loss, Raiders coach Jesse Fehr said there was lots to like and a great confidence builder for his squad.
“Coquitlam is a very good team … but to prove it yourself when you come out on the floor just reaffirms what we have believed all year,” he said.
The goal now is to take that confidence and correct a few areas ahead of tomorrow’s second game, Fehr added.
Haiden Dickson, the Coquitlam player of the game, finished with a hat trick while Thomas Semple (two goals, three assists) and Max Semple (five assists) both had five-point games. Dennon Armstrong finished with a goal and four points while Bowering, Colin Munro and Will Clayton each had one goal and one assist. Robert Hofseth rounded out the scoring.
Nate Faccin made 28 saves for the Adanacs while his counterpart Jack Bruzell-Friesz finished with 42 saves.
The Okotoks attack was led by Zach Mantei who had a pair of goals as part of his five-point night. Matsuoka (who earned Okotoks’ player of the game award) also scored twice. Adam Wolf and Ethan Landymore each had a goal and two helpers while Jake Gillis, Myles Hamm and Levi Anderson finished with a goal apiece.
Saturday’s action features Okotoks facing the Victoria Shamrocks at 4 p.m. while the Adanacs draw the Orangeville Northmen at 7 p.m.