After receiving a bye for the Quarter Finals thanks to being 1st place in the North Division, the Bradford Rattlers took on the Temiscaming Titans this weekend for games 1 and 2 in a best of 5 series for the GMHL North Division Semi-Finals.
The game began as with Bradford Residents Chuck K. and Liam S. joining the Rattlers acting as the teams pre-game flag bearers. They completed two laps under a spotlight provided by team sponsor Upsight & Sound Inc from Barrie before accompanying the starting lineup for the playing of O’Canada.
With the stands packed, the Rattlers would jump on the Titans early by draining the puck 1:07 into the 1st period with a short handed goal by Stepan Levitskiy (#14) and assisted by Pavel Rozhkov (#7). The Rattlers would continue a hefty onslaught in the 1st period with Jesper Eriksson (#8) scoring at 3:10 with assists by Jacob Rhodin (#91) and Swen Meusy (###) on the Power play followed by a second Short Handed goal by Jacob Rhodin at 9:35 and finally Danila Flippov (#4) at 13:45 assisted by Dyland DiTomaso (#2) and Arvid Malm (#19). The Titans would respond to close out the scoring in the 1st period with a goal at 15:03 by Thomas LaForge (#18), assisted by Christopher Fanfan (#21) and Philippe Falardeau (#64).
The Rattlers welcomed 12 Junior U8 Hockey players to the ice during the 1st intermission, who showcased their skills in a mini scrimmage between the boards and put on a great display of sportsmanship for the fans during the intermission.
The second period would be fully dominated by the Rattlers who received all 4 of the periods 4 goals. The Rattlers’ Jesper Eriksson would again score at 4:58 for his second of the night, assisted by Jacob Rhodin and Ryan St. John (#13). The Goal would be shortly followed by Arvid Malm at 5:14 assisted by Stepan Levitskiy and Chris Castrignano (#15). The period would end with goals by Stepan Leviskiy at 11:08 and Jacob Rhodin at 17:48 to end the scoring for both teams, seeing no goals scored in the Third period.
The Rattlers welcomed 10 Junior U12 Hockey players to the ice during the 2nd intermission again for the second 3 minute scrimmage of the night. The young players showing a passion for hockey to cheering fans.
The Three Stars of the game:
· Bradford Rattlers’ #14 Stepan Levitskiy - 2G, 2A
· Bradford Rattlers’ #91 Jacob Rhodin - 2G, 2A
· Bradford Rattlers’ #8 Jesper Eriksson - 2G, 1A
The Rattlers travelled to Temiscaming on Sunday for Game 2 in the best of 5 series to a full crowed at the Temiscaming Rink. The Titans were ready to fire back after the 8-1 loss on Saturday and came on strong by taking a 2-1 lead early in the 1st period. The Rattles however would keep on the intense pressure and fight back in the second scoring two unanswered goals to take a lead 3-2 by the end of the second period.
The Third period would be a rough battle for both teams with tensions beginning to Flare. The Rattlers scored at 3:57 with Short handed goal by Stepan Levitskiy followed by Tanner Skrypnyk at 8:06 to make the score a 5-2 in favor of the Rattlers. However, the titans would prove they were not ready to throw in the towel. Titans Emile Lavallee would score at 15:30 followed by Gadel Khismatullin at 19:23 to bring the final score to a 5-4 close.
The Bradford Rattlers, now sitting in a 2-0 series lead of the Titans in the best of 5 semi-final series, host the Temiscaming Titans on Saturday March 11th at the Bradford Leisure Centre. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. with puck drop at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for the game are $15 for Adults, $10 for ages 16 under and free for children 5 and under accompanied by paid adult.