Knights extend winning streak
The Airdrie Knights extended their winning streak to four games with a 9-8 victory over the Okotoks Sr. Raiders, May 18.
After opening the game with two goals, the Knights fell behind when the Raiders scored three goals in 1:30 to take a 3-2 lead into the second period. The Knights outscored the Raiders 5-3 in the second period before adding a powerplay, a short-handed and an even-strength goal in the third period.
“We had a better start than we did last game,” said Knights Head Coach Gareth Barley. “We had a very good second period, which is typically our weakest period this season. It was a hard fought third period and a good team effort.”
Rob McGowean scored four of the Knights’ goals while Mark Scherman, Derek Tom and Casey McIntyer also chipped in offensively. Scherman scored a goal and two assists, McIntyer recorded four assists and Tom, who usually plays more of a defensive role, according to Barley, scored a goal and added three assists.
The need for a strong start and more disciplined play were aspects that the team focused on heading into the game against the Raiders.
“The quick start is something that we haven’t had this season,” he said. “It was something we addressed in practice. The boys knew it was coming. We talked about it as a team, that (it was) unsportsmanlike penalties and team penalties that cost us. They paid the price, we moved on and got ready for the game. The biggest part we wanted was a quick start. We had a lapse where they scored three quick goals, but other than that, we played a very strong game.”
After playing the Raiders twice in its first four games, the Knights have a three-game break before the two teams meet again June 6 in Okotoks.
The Knights’ next game is May 30 against the Spruce Grove Slash at the Pete Knight Arena in Crossfield.
It is the last time the two teams will meet this season. With improvements made to the team’s start and discipline against the Raiders, Barley is shifting the team’s focus back to the Slash, which it played in the first game of the season.
“Being four games in, hopefully we’ve fixed (the slow start),” he said.