February 19th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 7
Rockies stand tall to earn
Bantam AA playoff berth
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Frank McTighe photo
Jason Stockton and Chase Snider (right) of the Southwest Rockies shut down the Foothills Bisons attack in their Bantam AA hockey game Saturday at Nanton.
Macleod Gazette Editor
Al Michaels famously asked, “Do you believe in miracles?” when a group of amateur U.S. hockey players knocked off the powerhouse Soviets in the 1980 Winter Olympics.

The Southwest Rockies staged their own “miracle on ice” last weekend as they earned points against the league’s top teams to sneak into the South Central Alberta Bantam AA Hockey League playoffs.

The Rockies now take on Cranbrook Hornets in a best-of-three playoff series.

The first game is Friday, Feb. 21 at Cranbrook, with the second game at 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 at Pincher Creek. The third game is Sunday, Feb. 23 at Cranbrook, if necessary.

The Rockies went into the final weekend of regular season play knowing the odds were stacked against them making the playoffs.

They trailed the Brooks Longhorns by a single point in the race for the final playoff spot and faced road games against the top two teams in the league.

The Rockies had to earn at least two points, while hoping the Longhorns would come away empty-handed in their final game against Red Deer Steel Kings, a middle-of-the-pack team in the north division.

Rockies 4 Bisons 4

The Rockies faced off Saturday night in Nanton against the Foothills Bisons, who were first in the south division and second overall in the league.

With their season hanging in the balance the Rockies came out blazing and were rewarded just over a minute into the game when captain Turner Sharp scored his seventh goal of the season, assisted by Ethan Richards.

The Bisons, who were 40 points ahead of the Rockies in the standings, tied the game 85 seconds later.

The Bisons kept bringing it throughout the opening period but could not solve Rockies goalie Sean Park, who turned aside shot after shot.

Park was getting plenty of help from D-men Sharp, Tyson Goodreau, Jason Stockton, Chaz Vance, Peyton Tailfeathers and Nic Jordan, who pounded on the Bisons forwards in front of the net, stopping only to clear any rebounds.

The Bisons pulled ahead 2-1 with 3:52 left in the period on a powerplay goal, and if there was a time the Rockies were going to quit, this could have been it.

Instead, winger Jesson Luco took things into his own hands and restored the Rockies lead with two goals on one shift, just 11 seconds apart.

Luco’s first goal was assisted by Tailfeathers, and the second was a solo effort that silenced the Bisons home crowd.

The frantic pace continued in the second period with the Bisons testing Park time after time, only to be turned away.
February 19th ~ Vol. 84 No. 7
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