HIGH RIVER, AB – The Medicine Hat Sun Devils put up a good fight on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep their season from drawing to a close.
Medicine Hat dropped a 10-7 decision in Game 2 of their South Division semi-final series against the High River Heat, losing the best-of-three series in two games.
With High River leading by a pair of goals midway through the first period, Medicine Hat cut the deficit in half with a timely marker from Sun Devils vet Zack Wilson.
That would be the extend of the Sun Devils goals in the opening frame however, as the Heat added two more before the end of the period to take a 4-1 lead.
Momentum completely shifted towards High River in the second period, with the home side netting four consecutive goals over a 15 minute span to increase their lead to 8-1.
Medicine Hat was able to finish off the frame on a high note with an Izaak Loran lamp-lighter, making it an 8-2 contest with 35 seconds left in the period.
High River made it a 9-2 game early in the third, but that’s when the Sun Devils stepped up their attack out of desperation to get back into the series.
Aidan McLean contributed his first of the afternoon with 11:25 left in the third to cut it to 9-3, with fellow assistant captain Daniel Drefs netting one just minutes later.
Down 9-4 with under eight minutes to play, the Sun Devils potted two goals from Noah Loran and Tegan Rogal in the span less than two minutes to bring Medicine Hat within three goals.
The Heat cut off the swing in momentum with just over three minutes remaining in regulation with another goal to restore their four-goal advantage.
McLean added his second of the game with 16 seconds left, but the Sun Devils ran out of time and saw their season come crashing down with a 10-7 loss.
It was a season above expectations for Medicine Hat, as head coach Chris Loran was hoping for at least a .500 record and was rewarded with an 11-7 record in the regular season and a first-round playoff series win.
Medicine Hat is expected to see four players graduate from the organization including forwards Wilson and Tanner Simpson, goalie Nate Thomas, and captain Damon Phillips.
High River will now advance to the South Division finals against the Red Deer Renegades, with the winner advancing to the provincial junior ‘B’ championship.
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