Gophers, Sabres to battle for hockey crown
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The Steinbach Sabres and Garden City Gophers will meet in the Manitoba AAAA high school boys championship game Monday at the hockey for all centre.
Game time is 6:30 p.m.
Garden City defeated the Westwood Warriors 2-1 in double-overtime Sunday afternoon in one semifinal, while the Sabres dumped the St. Paul’s Crusaders 4-3 in the other.
The Gophers are the province’s top-ranked squad, capturing the Winnipeg High School Hockey League’s premier division title earlier this month.
Garden City defenceman Nixon Carriere scored the game-winner at the 2:52 of the second four-on-four, 10-minute OT session, taking a pass from Colson Smith and beating Warriors goalie Nigel Taylor.
Smith set up both goals for the winners.
Taylor was sensational in a losing effort, stopping 42 shots including a dozen in extra time.
Westwood’s Tristen Arnason and Lucas Desousa of Garden City traded third-period goals.
Nick Pochinco made 36 saves between the pipes for the Gophers.
Meanwhile, No.4-ranked Steinbach, built period leads of 3-0 and 4-1 and held on to upset the second-ranked Crusaders, the defending provincial champions.
Theoren Koop and Colton Wiebe each had a goal and an assist for Steinbach, while Dominic Rooney and Drew Heide also scored. Sabres netminder Will MacDonald 30 saves.
Troy Boughton and Porter Holland fired third-period goals to close the gap for St. Paul’s. Noah Friesen registered a second-period tally.
Marc Samyn and Ron Cailo split the goalie duties for the Crusaders, facing a combined 24 shots.