The Trackers made sure to take quick advantage of home ice, scoring within the first three minutes of the opening frame, courtesy of Kody McManus’ first goal of the series.
However, the Barons showed some great resiliency, tying the game at the 13 minute marker of the first, concluding the opening period with the score deadlocked at 1-1.
The remainder of the game belonged to the hometown Trackers. With time winding down in somewhat of a sloppy second period, Wyatt Gale tipped in a point shot with 1:25 left in the second, providing not only the go-ahead-goal, but the eventual series winner.
Entering the third with the 2-1 lead, the Trackers refused to let up, continuing to push the offensive pace. Trevor Whynot tipped in his first of the series six minutes into the third, followed by back-to-back goals from Gale to complete the hat-trick, concluding the game 5-1, and providing the Trackers a birth into the second round.
Round two of the post season will pit the Trackers against the Grande Prairie Sherpa Safety Storm, who finished first in the North Black Division, the same division the Trackers played in.
Following the game, Trackers head coach Brennen Giroux talked about the importance of scoring first in the game.
“It’s huge. You always want to get that first goal, just to get the momentum on your side and to establish that presence.”
Trackers goalie Michael Chute played a great game in net for the home team, playing with confidence and making numerous timely saves to maintain the lead for his team. Coach Giroux says it’s because of that confidence and solid play that Chute will continue to get the start in net.
With Grande Prairie on the horizon, Giroux says success in the upcoming series revolves around effort.
“The last time we played them they beat us 4-0, so we really need to come prepared to work next week. It’s going to be a really good series, and I hope our players come out strong. Grande Prairie is a good team, so we just have to come prepared.”