The battle for second place and home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs in the NPHL’s East Division continues.
The Manning Comets whipped the visiting Falher Pirates 5-1 Jan. 18 to pull one point ahead of the Grimshaw Huskies in the race for second. MAN’s win also prevented FAL from clinching first in the division.
FAL is still seven points ahead of MAN and eight points ahead of GRIM in the race for first. Each team has five games left. MAN plays last place HP at home Jan. 19 while GRIM has a tough date at FSJ. FAL is home to DC in a battle of division leaders; DC is one point ahead of GP with a game in hand in the West. GRIM, however, hosts MAN twice in the final days of the season Jan. 24 and Feb. 1.
FAL opened the scoring with the first period’s only goal when Kevin Monfette scored.
In the second period, MAN took the lead on goals from Matt Boyd and Michael Vreeling, both at even strength.
In the third, MAN received power play goals from Boyd and Tyler Dillman in the first nine minutes to make it 4-1. Jarod Lorencz ended the scoring with 3:06 remaining.
One again goaltender Braden Gamble came up huge for MAN, who were outshot 40-33.
Pirates 1 at Comets 5
Friday, Jan. 18
1. FAL, Kevin Monfette 3 (Darren Kramer, Dallas Brochu) 13:33
Penalties: Payton Proskurniak MAN (roughing) 00:48, Jay Anderson FAL (tripping) 3:23, Rocky Collins FAL (holding) 8:39, Dalton Ducharme MAN (slashing, misconduct) 11:31, Neil Maisonneuve FAL (cross-checking) 15:47.
2. MAN, Matt Boyd 4 (Joel Henitiuk, Thomas Simpson) 8:41
3. MAN, Michael Vreeling 2 (Jeremie Perron, Tyler Dillman) 12:53
Penalties: Michael Vreeling MAN (tripping) 7:31, Darren Kramer FAL (holding the stick) 8:33, Trevor Tokarz FAL and Jordy Greschner MAN (roughing after the whistle) 11:30, Dakota Mason FAL (cross-checking) 20:00.
4. MAN, Matt Boyd 5 (Michael Gillen, Jeremie Perron) 1:11 (pp)
5. MAN. Tyler Dillman 6 (Jeremie Perron, Michael Gillen) 8:23 (pp)
6. MAN, Jared Lorencz 2 (Thomas Simpson, Thomas Dechant) 16:54
Penalties: Jay Anderson FAL (tripping) 2:10, Logan Newman MAN (slashing) 4:56, Dakota Mason FAL (slashing) 6:36, Thomas Simpson MAN (hooking) 9:15, Darren Kramer FAL (unsportsmanlike) 17:36.
Shots on goal:
Falher 15 13 12 -40
Manning 7 13 13 -33 Goaltenders: Pirates, Dyson Loewen; Comets, Braden Gamble.
Power Plays: FAL 0-5; MAN 2-8.
Penalties in Minutes: FAL 18; MAN 22.