The Temiscaming Titans have now taken a 3-1 series lead in the GMHL Jr. A North Division finals – but they didn’t have an easy time of it against the Bradford Rattlers on Thursday night.
The Titans won Game 4, held at the BWG Leisure Centre’s Blue Rink, 5-4 but the Rattlers pressed hard and came within striking distance, just as the clock ran out.
Temiscaming scored the only goal in period one, a marker by Mikhail Akatnov, at 7:21.
Just two minutes into the second frame, Bradford scored an answering goal – by #2 Oleg Grishatov from Danil Shults (#25) and Alexander Guseinov (#21) - on the power play.
It was a chippy second period, with Temiscaming racking up penalties for roughing, unsportsmanlike behaviour and slashing, but still managing to find the back of the Bradford net in a back-and-forth scoring battle.
Temiscaming’s Reingold Shtemke scored at 11:52 to give the Titans a 2-1 lead; three minutes later Bradford again knotted the scored on the power play, a goal by Marek Martiška (#17) from Brayden Morris (#22) and Evgeny Lukin (#24).
Less than a minute later, the Titans made it 3-2, on a goal by Yannick Ethier – and a short-handed, unassisted goal by Bailey Chenier ended the period with Temiscaming ahead, 4-2.
The Titans scored their final goal 3:38 into the final frame, by Xavier Sincennes, to take a 5-2 lead – before the Rattlers struck back. Denis Valguzov (#12) scored at 12:55, from Martiška and Grishatov; then it was Vojtech Pfeifer (#20) from Nikita Sakno (#14) and Matej Svitak (#9) with less than five minutes left in the period, to make it 5-4.
Bradford pressed hard, snatching the puck and swarming the Temiscaming net, but couldn’t score the tying marker – even after pulling goalie Trevor Babin in the final minute of play, for the extra attacker.
The season is now over for the Rattlers, leaving Temiscaming as North Division champs.