WINNIPEG -- They may yet have to sweat out a late result, but the Morden Thunder salvaged their first day of the AAAA Provincial High School Hockey Championships with a 4-3 shootout win over the River East Kodiaks this afternoon at St. James Civic Centre.
The Thunder rallied from a 3-2 third-period deficit with Dustin Wiebe’s hat-trick goal with just 6:49 to play, then scored on all three shootout attempts.
Earlier in the day, they lost 2-0 the Oak Park Raiders.
The top two teams from each three-team pool will advance to Saturday’s semifinal round.
At 1-1, the Thunder are looking ahead, not back on a tough schedule on opening day of the tournament.
"Only two hours between our games; that made it tough to get refreshed and ready to do this afternoon," said Morden head coach Tyler Sloan. "But somebody had to have that schedule.
"I think we still haven’t played our best game. Hopefully that’s coming tomorrow."
Tyler MacPherson had two goals for the young River East squad, while Wyatt Langelotz had the other in the penalty-filled game. The Kodiaks probably had the better chances in the 10-minute overtime period, but it solved nothing.
In their early game, Morden couldn’t find the net against Raiders’ goalie Ben Cockwell. Oak Park had goals from Shane Kustra-Nelson and Reg Bowles.
In the only Pool B game complete so far, Brandon’s Crocus Plains, the Westman champs, knocked down city champs John Taylor Pipers 3-2 with Jackson Wallis’s goal at 4:44 of overtime.
Plainsmen also had goals from Norman Brightnose and Cole Fraser, while Tyler Kemball and Nicholas Pierce scored for John Taylor.
The Pipers need a victory later today against Stonewall if they have any hope of advancing to Saturday.