The Wilkie Outlaws are one step closer to winning their fourth consecutive Saskatchewan West Hockey League title thanks to a 6-3 win over the Kindersley Red Lions in the series opener of their championship series on Sunday in Kindersley.
The red hot Outlaws have yet to taste defeat in the post-season, having swept Luseland 2-0 in their quarter-final series and then ousting Unity in three straight in the semifinals.
Kindersley opened their playoffs with a sweep of Biggar in the quarter-finals then pulled off what may considered an upset eliminating the heavily favoured Macklin Mohawks in their semifinal series that went all five games.
Outlaws forward Derek Keller, who had a pair of goals in the game one victory, said when playoff time comes around there are no easy games.
“One thing you find when it comes to playoff time is that every team finds a way to get all its guys to the games which sometimes doesn’t happen during the regular season,” Keller said. “This usually happens for road games and sometimes you see skeleton squads and very lopsided games.”
Keller added every team tries to have its best lineup ready to go for every game during the playoffs and fans are treated to very competitive hockey.
Keller opened the scoring midway through the first period to give the Outlaws a 1-0 however the Red Lions Jonny Calkins tied it with under two minutes to go in the frame.
The Outlaws offence got rolling in the second period scoring three unanswered goals including Keller’s second, Brett Harrison and Rick Cey to lead 4-1 after 40 minutes of play.
“Kindersley is a physical team and tough to play against,” Keller said. “They know how to win and have won in the league before so we know it’s not going to be an easy series.”
Both the Outlaws and Red Lions scored two goals each in the final period to round out the scoring with Wilkie firing 37 shots at Luke Sproule while Kindersley had 29 shots on goalie Jared Herle who picked up the win.
Game two of the series is Wednesday night at the SaskCan Centre in Wilkie with the opening faceoff at 8:30 p.m.
On Twitter: @RJWtheReporter
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