Horak’s winner brings series back to Chilliwack

Chilliwack's Lucas Gore made 43 stops as the Bruins beat the Americans 4-3 in overtime Friday

Chilliwack's Lucas Gore made 43 stops as the Bruins beat the Americans 4-3 in overtime Friday

Chilliwack hockey fans will get at least one more home playoff game.

The never-say-die Bruins staved off elimination in their first round Western Hockey League playoff series, shocking the Tri-City Americans with a 4-3 overtime victory Friday night. Facing a two-goal deficit going into the third period, the Bruins pulled some more magic out of the hat, tying the game with less than two minutes remaining and then winning it on Roman Horak’s OT tally.

Referees Matt Kirk and Colby Smith took a novel approach in the previous game, calling just four minor penalties in Tri-City’s 4-3 overtime win. The referees in Game 5, Nathan Wieler and Sean Raphael, went in the opposite direction, handing out four minutes before the game was five minutes old.

Chilliwack got the first power play when Johnny Lazo was assessed two minutes for tripping at 1:53. But it lasted just six precious seconds before Jamie Crooks was banished to the sin bin for slashing. Jesse Craige (tripping) and Brandon Manning (hooking) were close behind, setting the Americans up with a lengthy man advantage. Manning had just stepped out of the box and was rushing back into the play when Tri-City opened the scoring. Brooks Macek earned the primary assist with a shot that was tipped into the Bruins net by Belarussian import Sergei Drozd.

While Drozd was netting his second of the series, Chilliwack rookie Chris Collins was looking for his first goal in 22 games. The snake-bitten winger looked like a man on a mission as he rumbled down the wing late in the first period. His shot was low and hard and stopped by Tri-City netminder Drew Owsley. But the goaltender left a juicy rebound for Alexander Wiklund, who fired it in for his first WHL playoff goal.

Chilliwack had just 64 seconds to enjoy Wiklund’s strike before the Americans surged ahead on a goal by Macek. Kruise Reddick won a faceoff to Drozd, who put the puck on net. The rebound went to Macek, who snapped the puck over Gore’s outstretched glove for his second of the series and a 2-1 Tri-City lead.

Shots on goal in the first period were 15-4 in favour of the Ams.

The Bruins played a strong second period, generating a handful of great scoring chances. Sixteen-year-old rookie Brendan Persley had the most notable opportunity, crashing the crease in search of the rebound from a Jesse Craige shot. He came within inches of shoving the puck across the goal-line, but Owsley held firm to keep it out. Minutes later, the Tri-City netminder came up with a huge glove save on Horak.

The Americans got their fifth power play opportunity midway through period two when Brandon Manning was sent off for hooking. Kruise Reddick made the Bruins pay, potting his fifth of the series to give his team some much-need breathing room.

Shots on goal in the second period were 14-12 in favour of the Bruins, who deserved a better fate, but faced a daunting uphill climb heading into the final frame.

Chilliwack finally got a break from the refs early in the third period when Adam Hughesman was sent off at 1:39 for tripping. The Bruins wasted little time cashing in, and once again it was Wiklund pulling the trigger. His tally ignited comeback hopes, which were almost immediately extinguished by more penalty woes.

Tyler Stahl got his stick up on Johnny Lazo at 5:09, drawing blood and earning four minutes for the foul. Just as he was set to return to the ice, Craige was sent off on a dubious boarding call. Tri-City had just under six minutes of uninterrupted power play time, but the Chilliwack PK came up big to keep it a one-goal game. Gore was the best penalty killer, making a pair of notable stops on Macek.

Gore was pulled from the net with just under two minutes to go, as head coach Marc Habscheid went with the extra attacker. And just like Wednesday night, the strategy worked to perfection. Ryan Howse came up with the clutch goal, taking a feed from Horak and scoring with just 94 ticks left on the clock.

His goal capped sent the game to OT, and this time there was a storybook ending.

Seven minutes and 16 seconds into overtime, a Matt Delahey shot resulted in a mad scramble around the Tri-City net. Horak eventually got credit for the goal, but replays showed it may have been Americans defenceman Tyler Schmidt who accidentally knocked it across the line with his glove.

Either way, the Bruins are hosting Game 6 Sunday night at Prospera Centre. Puck drop is 5 p.m.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Information about the number of COVID-19 cases in Abbotsford and other municipalities poses a danger to the public, the Provincial Health Services Authority says. (Photo: Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News)
More city-level COVID-19 data would jeopardize public health, B.C. provincial health agency says

Agency refuses to release weekly COVID-19 case counts, citing privacy and public health concerns

Inez Louis opens up about testing positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 3, 2020. (Inez Louis/Facebook)
Juno-nominated singer and Indigenous health planner goes public about testing positive for COVID-19

In a livestream from bed, Inez Louis begs everyone to ‘do the right thing’ and follow health orders

Former Hope resident Jason Thomas Graff is set to be sentenced on charges of telecommunicating to lure a child and posession of child pornography at the Chilliwack Law Courts Jan. 28. (File photo)
Former Hope resident to be sentenced for child luring in Chilliwack court

Sentencing Jan. 28 at Chilliwack Law Courts following offences in Hope, Vancouver Island

A black-capped chickadee tolerates the 40 below zero weather. (File)
Harrison Christmas Bird Count taking flight

Local bird watchers help with worldwide bird tracking effort

RCMP don’t want to see you having your vehicle towed away after an aggressive driving infraction. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP hand out more than 500 tickets in aggressive driving crackdown

Police say they’ll continue to focus on speeding, aggressive and distracted driving

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Melissa David, of Parachutes for Pets and her dogs Hudson and Charlie are trying to raise money for a homeless shelter that will allow pets and are seen in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘My only wish:’ Children asking pet charity to help their furry friends at Christmas

Parachutes for Pets says it has received 14 letters from children in the last week t

Melissa Velden and her chef-husband Chris Velden, stand in their dining room at the Flying Apron Inn and Cookery in Summerville, N.S. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. The couple is hosting holiday parties with appropriate distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols in place at their restaurant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Celebrities, Santa and Zoom part of office holiday parties being held amid COVID-19

Many will send tokens of appreciation to workers or offer time off or cash

Cops converge in a Marshall Road parking lot on Thursday afternoon (Dec. 3) after an inmate escaped from corrections officers. The man was taken back into custody a short while later. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
UPDATE: Prisoner shot at by guards in Abbotsford had history of escapes

Stephane Bissonnette escapes from corrections officers, but is arrested a short while later

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Most Read