It was a crucial Game 5 Thursday night at Minoru Arena between the Richmond Sockeyes and the Grandview Steelers. Having dropped their first two playoff games at home, the Sockeyes hoped for a different fate in front of their home crowd Thursday, looking to take a 3-2 lead in the series.
It was a better start for the Sockeyes, as they finally managed to get a lead at home when Tyler Andrews scored on the power-play. Cole MacInnes made two pad saves before Andrews got the third try up and over MacInnes for the goal.
Kurt Russell started for Richmond, coming off back-to-back shutouts, including a 3-0 victory Wednesday night. The shutout streak ended early as just after Andrews’ opening goal, Tim Chow beat Russell to knot the game at one.
Daniel Oakley broke the tie five minutes into the 2nd, when he took the puck to the slot and rifled a shot far-side on MacInnes.
Sockeyes looked poised to double their lead, with multiple close calls in the Steelers crease.
It was eventually Grandview who tied it up in the 3rd when Adam Rota fed the puck in front to Austin Campeau, who one-timed an in-tight shot past Russell.
The score was only tied for a moment, as a mad scramble in front of MacInnes was poked home by Brodie Crawford, who was wearing a cage after taking a high stick in Game 2.
Sockeyes did well to shut down the Grandview offense until Troy Sutherland’s deflected shot at the empty net fluttered in.
Jordan Andrews had a notably strong game defensively, while his brother Tyler looked electrifying in the offensive end for Richmond. Jacob Wozney seemed impossible to knock off the puck and Russell looked completely dialed in to this game.
The Sockeyes took this one 4-2 the final. They now have won three straight and lead the series 3-2. Game 6 goes on Sunday, with a potential Game 7 taking place Monday at Minoru.
- Bailey Meadows