Knights win playoff rematch against Okotoks Sr. Raiders
The Airdrie Knights captured their second win of the season with a 7-6 comeback over the Okotoks Sr. Raiders in Crossfield, May 11.
The Knights took a 2-0 lead in the first period with goals from Justin Norbraten, who was acquired from the Raiders in an off-season trade, and Casey McIntyer. However, Head Coach Gareth Barley said he wasn’t pleased with the team’s start to the game.
“It was nice to get a win for our home opener, but it was a very slow start,” he said. “It seems typical this season and it’s not what we want. It’s something we need to address.”
Penalty trouble plagued the Knights in the second period and they fell behind as the Raiders’ Danny Farmer scored three goals in 5:37 to take a 3-2 lead. Two of Farmer’s goals came on the powerplay. Brandon Knittle and Garrett Werschke also scored to increase the lead to 5-2 before the Knights began their comeback.
Rob McGowean opened the second period scoring for the Knights, but a goal by Tyler Farmer gave the Raiders another 6-3 lead. Derek Tom and Chris Johnston scored with less than three minutes left in the period to draw the Knights within one goal of the Raiders.
McGowean scored first again for the Knights 30 seconds into the third period to tie the game and Mark Scherman would score the game winner.
He finished the game with a goal and three assists while teammate Adam Labarbera recorded four assists.
While the Knights were able to fight through 21 minutes of penalties in the second period and erase the Raiders’ three-goal lead, Barley said that discipline is another aspect that the team needs to work on.
“A couple (penalties) were bad calls and a couple of (them) were deserved penalties,” he said.
“The guys were playing undisciplined and taking liberties. It’s not the way we like to play the game. The score could’ve been a lot worse. The goalie stood on his head and kept us in the game.”
The two teams and known rivals won’t have to wait long for their next meeting. The Raiders hosted the Knights May 18 in Okotoks. (Results were not available at press time.)
“This rivalry has been going on for years,” said Barley. “We absolutely hate each other and it’s not going to get any better. We (play) them three more times this year and we’ll probably have to see them in the playoffs.”