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Rustlers lead Wolves 1-0 in second round

By March 2, 2022No Comments
Lakeland College King’s Energy Group Rustlers captain, Jayde Cadieux, lights the lamp and lifts the water bottle on Sunday afternoon on home ice against the Edmonton Wolves. Taylor Weaver Meridian Source

 

The Lakeland College King’s Energy Group Rustlers were back in action at the Russ Robertson this past Sunday and beat the Edmonton Wolves 5-1 in Game 1 of the second round of the playoffs. 

Playing a best-of-three second round, the Wolves (15-8-1-0) are seated right behind the Rustlers (19-4-0-1) in the Alberta Junior Female Hockey League standings, and going into Sunday’s game, head coach Morgan Mann and his squad knew the challenges that may lie ahead in the Wolves.

“I still don’t think we have this one in the bag. That’s a good team, and maybe we caught them a bit tired. Momentum is a funny thing. This isn’t over for sure,” said Mann of the rest of the series. 

“We felt good coming off that win on Sunday. We really played well again, and I think a number of our players stepped it up to the next level. I thought everybody was good, but a couple of our players even found another level of their game, which was great for us and awesome for them.”

One of said players was Rustlers captain, Jayde Cadieux, who not only was the game’s First Star, she also recorded a hat trick and an assist.

“Jayde really elevated her game and took the team on her shoulders,” said Mann. 

“From Game 1 of the playoffs, she’s been on fire. I had a feeling that if she got a couple early in the playoff run, it could really open up for her, and right now, she’s playing her best hockey by far, and has been a leader in every sense.

“When your captain sets a tone like that, her teammates follow for sure.”

The home side dominated both offensively and defensively, putting 36 shots on goal and only allowing goaltender Chantel Weller to see 14 pucks all game. 

“I think that just shows how well we were playing, and we were really trying to have the attitude where, every time they touched the puck, we were all over them,” said Mann.

The Rustlers travel to Edmonton’s Clareview Community Rec Centre on Friday for Game 2 of the series, and there’s a new challenge ahead in the form of an Olympic-sized ice surface. 

“Our next game is on Olympic ice, so it’s a completely different game. There will be way more space out there, so we’re cautious going into it,” said Mann.

“We were slated to play in a rink on Friday that’s much like the Russ Robertson, and then we got an email saying we’d be playing in a different rink because of available ice time.”

Despite the larger ice surface, Mann is confident in his team and believes the momentum can continue.

“We have to stay above the puck, on the right side of it. We have to be really careful and responsible not to give up odd-man rushes, I find they’re dangerous off the rush, so we have to be conscious of that and not be too aggressive on the pinch.

“If we can bring the same energy and effort we have the last couple of games, we’ll be in it for sure.”

If the Wolves win Game 2 on Friday, the series returns to the Russ Robertson on Sunday for a 3:15 p.m. puck drop.