As the expression goes: another one bites the dust. Wednesday evening at Takhini Arena two teams bit it.
Joining the ranks of the Klondyke Dental Molars and Yukon Inn, the AON Flames and the Firth Rangers were ousted from the oldtimer hockey league playoffs.
The Flames were shown the door with a 3-1 loss against the Performance Centre Turbos while the Rangers were sent packing with a 4-1 loss to top-seeded Medicine Chest.
“We worked hard and that’s basically our strength,” said Turbos’ Bernie Adilman, who assisted his team’s opening goal. “When we work hard we usually do well. We tend not to be as blessed with skill as some of the other teams, but we have a pretty good work ethic and when it’s going, it’s going good.”
The Flames began the season strong, going more than a month before suffering a loss. However, recent injuries have removed the team’s starting forward line, which features two of the league’s top five points-leaders.
“We started off good with the scoring champion, but one by one we lost Tony (Clennett), we lost Scott (Lowery), Charles (Broadhagen) has a pulled groin from the (Native) tournament, (Blaine) “Bubba” (Demchuk) hurt his knee, so there goes our first line,” said Flames’ Brian Eyolfson.
“The rest of us are just out enjoying the ride, just trying to keep the pucks out and all of a sudden we’re in the role of trying to score goals.”
Turbos’ Gregor Gabb opened the scoring with 5:23 to play in the first, shoveling the puck in the open side of the net on a pass across from Adilman. Their second came with the same formula, with Jim Gizci putting the finisher on a pass across from Woody Bennett at the start of the second.
“We concentrated on getting the puck out of our zone and they didn’t have very many scoring chances,” said Adilman. “We got a lucky break on their third goal, but we shut them down pretty well.
“It’s a very satisfying win.”
The Turbos’ third, scored by Matt Sills, snuck by goalie Barry Prince after taking a bad bounce.
Down 3-0 late in the second, the Flames avoided the shutout when Eyolfson scored alone in front, assisted by Kelly Collins and Eric von Flotow.
“Tiger (Williams) says in the playoff it’s the third and fourth lines that win pucks,” said Eyolfson.
“I guess their third and fourth lines were better than ours.”
The Turbos’ first playoff loss came against the Kilrich, losing 4-3 in a shootout the previous Thursday.
“We were leading in the last three minutes, but couldn’t hang on,” said Adilman.
“We were just laughing that we have to win four more games to win it all. So that’s a long road and it is very cliche, but we’re taking it one game at a time.”
The Flames may be out of the playoffs, but the team is not without future sporting plans.
“As soon as the snow melts, we’re going golfing,” said Eyolfson.
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