The Prince Albert Predators came out flying in the first period, scoring five goals en route to a 10-7 win over the Wolverines on Saturday night in Swift Current. Prince Albert ended the regular season in second place in the PGLL standings, and will take on the third seeded Regina Barracudas to begin the playoffs.
Four different scorers found the back of the net for the Predators in the first period, as they jumped out to a 5-1 lead after the opening 20 minutes. Caidyn Prediger and Tyson Perreault helped Prince Albert jump ahead 2-0 with a pair of goals less than three minutes apart midway through the first. Houston Finlayson scored for the Wolverines to make it a 2-1 game just 22 seconds later, but Prince Albert went on to score three straight in the final six minutes of the opening frame.
Prediger scored his second of the night with 5:37 to go, while Hayden Ulriksen scored with 4:27 left. Matthew Cudmore scored his first of four goals on the night with 2:00 remaining to make it a 5-1 lead heading into the second.
After more than 10 minutes of scoreless action in the second period, Cudmore potted his second goal of the contest with 9:15 left in the middle frame to extend Prince Albert’s lead to 6-1. However, Swift Current mounted a comeback, scoring three in a row to cut the deficit to 6-4. Finlayson scored his second of the night on a Wolverines powerplay, while Riley Pribyl and Ryder Turko scored goals of their own to bring Swift Current back to within two.
Cudmore scored his third goal of the game with 2:58 left in the second, while Finlayson completed his own hat trick with just 22 seconds left in the frame on another powerplay to make it a 7-5 Predators lead through 40.
Perreault made it an 8-5 lead with his second of the night 2:54 into the third. Dillan Cochrane scored for Prince Albert with 10:36 left, extending the lead to 9-5. Finlayson scored his fourth goal of the night for Swift Current with his third powerplay goal of the game to make it 9-6, while Adam Zanidean scored just over two minutes later to make it 9-7.
With 3:24 to go and the Predators on the powerplay, Cudmore sealed the deal with his fourth goal of the night on a Prince Albert man advantage, securing the 10-7 win, and solidifying a date with the Barracudas in the playoffs on Tuesday night.
Had the Wolverines beat the Predators on Saturday, it would have set up a rematch between the two clubs. Instead, Swift Current will take on the top seeded Saskatoon Jr. Swat, who finished the regular season just one point ahead of the Predators (see PGLL standings on page 6.)
Tuesday’s game between the Predators and Barracudas goes down at 8 p.m. at the Kinsmen Arena in Prince Albert.