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Resch rocket powers Hawks into finals

Posted on February 24, 2022 by Maple Creek
Strike force: Brady Resch's sudden-death overtime strike clinched the series 3-0 against Shaunavon Badgers.

The Senior Hawks and Cabri Bulldogs appear to be on a collision course to decide the White Mud Hockey League championship.
On Saturday evening, the Hawks wrapped up their best-of-five playoff series against Shaunavon Badgers after a breathless over-time winner.
Brady Resch’s shot ripped through Shaunavon’s defence, securing a 2-1 victory and 3-0 series success, setting off wild scenes at the Maple Creek Community Arena.
“I’ve never scored an overtime winner,” a delighted Resch told the News-Times. “This is my first year playing senior hockey and I’m just happy to have done it.”
Was he confident of a goal the moment the puck left his stick?
“No, I wasn’t. I thought the guy was going to get a stick on it. I was just trying to make sure the puck got deep. Once he got a stick on it, I’d try to rifle it in.”
Another hero of the night was goal-tender Justin Olansky, who pulled off several game-changing saves.
“I played a pretty solid game,” Olansky said. “To be honest, everybody did a good job; they made my job pretty easy tonight.
“It feels good tonight. I’ve played about seven years and this is the furthest I’ve been to getting a championship. It’s a new experience.”
The Hawks now await the winner of Cabri’s series with Gull Lake Greyhounds. The Bulldogs lead 2-0 after 6-5, 7-4 wins.
Sean Chapman, Hawks’ head coach, praised his team’s battling performance in a tight, pulse-pounding game that wasn’t for the weak of heart.
To add lustre to the occasion, the win came on a night featuring an on-ice presentation to John Duncan, long-time Hawks executive member.
“It was just that much more meaningful and special that we could win on John Duncan night,” Chapman said.
The Hawks entered the game in an upbeat mood. On February 12, they edged the Badgers 7-6 at home, thanks to a sudden-death overtime goal from Jordan Forsythe. Then six days later they won 6-3 in Shaunavon’s yard.
Saturday saw both teams with a short bench. Nevertheless, they compensated for lack of numbers with a never-say-die spirit.
The Hawks trailed by a goal before David Haaf, assisted by Derek Behrman, levelled the game with just over eight minutes left in the second period. That’s how matters stood when the teams entered the first 10-minute period of sudden-death overtime.
It took something special from Resch to break the deadlock.
Chapman said the crowd could have no complaints after witnessing a “heck of a game”.
“Our boys battled tonight. I thought we took the play for the most part, although we had lulls here and there.
“Shaunavon came with a short bench, and did they ever grind it out and battle us – full marks to those guys. They were in the fight the whole time. They should be proud of the way they battled us and on the road.”
Chapman said the Hawks team consisted of several veterans – the kind of players who remain calm in a tight contest. His message to them was to stick to what they were good at.
“We just have to go about our business. The number one thing is that we take care of our own end and transition into the offence.”
Chapman said Olansky’s contribution proved critical.
“Our goaltender saved our bacon a few times. He made some great saves late in the game.
“We didn’t have the biggest bench as well, but every guy battled and played the right way. Everybody contributed, whether by getting a point, blocking a shot, or making a big save. That’s how you win.”
Resch also underlined the team’s fighting spirit.
“I don’t remember the last time there was a 2-1 senior hockey game. Usually it’s high-scoring. Everybody battled tonight and that was good. It was a close game, but I couldn’t have asked for a better one, especially because we won.”
Although Cabri seem the likeliest opponents in a championship-deciding best-of-five series, Olansky was taking nothing for granted.
“We can’t get too far ahead. We want to enjoy tonight and then get ready for Cabri or Gull Lake.”
• After Saturday’s game, there was a Calcutta shootout. Fans who “bought” players had a chance of a 60 per cent prize payout.

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