In the first of two do-or-die games Wednesday at Takhini Arena, seven proved a lucky number for the AON Flames.
All three members of the Flames wearing a jersey with a seven on it were involved in every goal as the team knocked the Klondyke Dental Molars out of the oldtimer playoffs with a 6-2 win.
Flames’ Blaine “Bubba” Demchuk, wearing 77, produced two goals and two assists, while teammate Brian Gudmundson in number seven picked up an assist. However, number 17, Wade Harrison, topped the septenary list with four goals and an assist.
“Wade’s a bit of a sniper for the Flames,” said teammate Michael Muller. “He was able to get in alone quite a bit and he’s got a good quick shot. He’s very accurate and he showed it tonight.”
The Molars drew first blood just 27 seconds into the game when a shot by Rob Millar went off a Flames defenceman’s stick and soared towards the rafters before dropping behind Flames goalie Barry Prince.
“It was all planned,” joked Molar Adam Green. “Rob drilled it … and the goalie never saw it. I don’t think he even moved.”
“Everyone lost it including our goalie, and it went into the net,” said Muller.
Unruffled by the goal, the Flames soon ignited and scored four unanswered goals before the end of the first.
“I think there was more intensity,” said Muller. “This is oldtimers and we’re old, but everyone wants to compete and play some more hockey. And we realized we played a good team last week and came up short and we realized that we weren’t all committed to playing as hard as we can, so we played hard today.”
The Molars’ second came before the end of the first on a breakaway. Millar passed it up from the Molar end to Green, who put up a high shot stick-side.
“It’s nice to win too, but our whole year has been like this,” said Green. “So you’ve got to take it as it comes.
“We at least hold the pristine privilege of being the first knocked out.”
The Molars received their first loss of the postseason Sunday against the Medicine Chest, going down 5-1. The Flames had their first loss the same night against Edgewater Hotel, losing 3-2 in a shootout.
“Everyone came out tonight—I don’t know whether last week was a wakeup call—people were skating and distributing the puck, playing positions,” said Muller. “They were crashing pretty hard and we were trying to move bodies out of the way, and our forwards were putting it in the net.”
Yukon Inn sent packing
There’s some debate to have about whether the Firth Rangers came out strong or the Yukon Inn came out flat.
“The season’s on the line and we talked about it in the dressing room and the guys came out with some great intensity,” said Ranger Ron Sumanik. “(But) we let it drop there at halftime.”
“I wouldn’t say they came out strong,” said Yukon Inn captain Doug Janzen. “I think we played pretty weak.
“In the first 15 minutes they worked hard and we didn’t.”
Either way, the Rangers put three goals on the board in just the first eight minutes of play, eventually taking the game 5-1 and ousting Yukon Inn from the playoffs.
Ranger Ed van Randen began the scoring spree just eight seconds in. His goal was followed by ones by Ted Hupe and Gerald Haase. In the second Carl Burgess hit the back of the net early on, before Sumanik dealt the final blow with an empty netter, one-timing the puck in a face-off in his team’s end.
“Their first goal—we won the face off and should have cleared the zone, it’s just that simple,” said Janzen. “Instead they turned it over and popped it in the net.
“For their other goals we left the net wide open.”
The Inn’s lone goal came off the stick of Brian Boorse at the end of the first, assisted by Rick Blaker and Sean McAskie.
Yukon Inn lost their first game 9-5 against the Performance Centre Turbos on Sunday.
“I drafted the team this year,” said Janzen. “If I had the same choice next year, I’ll pick the same team again. They’re a great bunch of guys.”
Contact Tom Patrick at