It took until the second last game of the season for a team to push the Airdrie Thunder to overtime in the Heritage Junior Hockey League but, at the end of the game, the result was pretty much the same as the rest of the 2018 - 19 campaign.
Cooper Page scored his second goal of the game 13:47 into the extra frame as the Thunder scored a 5 - 4 win last night (February 8). Defenceman Jason Wenzel also collected a pair of goals for Airdrie with Dane Bennett-Nimijean also adding a goal.
The Thunder appeared to be cruising to victory leading 4 - 2 in the late going of the third period. The Bisons had other ideas and scored on the power play with 2:30 left in the period, then tied it up with under a minute to go to force overtime and Page's heroics.
The win improves the Thunder's record to 34 and 3 this season with just one game remaining. That game goes tonight in Stettler against the Lightning starting at 7:30 pm. Even though Airdrie has clinched home-ice advantage through the playoffs and a first-round bye, Head Coach Derek Stamp doesn't think his club will have any trouble getting motivated for the game.
"Stettler's always played us hard this season. We've won the previous three meetings and we have been able to score goals but they always play us tough. They're a very structured hockey team and we know that there's a strong likelihood that we could face them in the second round of the playoffs. We're going to use this opportunity to make sure that we play through their structure, that we can find ways to continue to succeed. I don't think it will be difficult for our guys to get up for it."
Elsewhere in the HJHL last night the Cochrane Generals were beaten 6 - 1 by the Wheatland Kings in Strathmore. Tonight the Generals host the Medicine Hat Cubs for the first game of a home and home weekend series. Game time is 7:30 pm in the Cochrane Arena.
The Mountainview Colts wrap up their regular season in Red Deer tonight when they face the Vipers.
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