The Sylvan Lake Wranglers have knocked off the Red Deer Vipers and are going to the division finals.
It took all seven games of the semifinal series for the Wranglers to claim the win.
The series started with three straight wins for Wranglers, but then the Vipers came back and forced the series to go to Game 7.
Throughout this series the Wranglers have been weak to start in the first period, but that changed in Game 7 Monday night.
In the do-or-die game, the Wranglers came off the bench determined to move on to the division finals.
Wrangler Wade Lightburn kicked things off for Sylvan Lake three-and-a-half minutes into the first period off a feed from Adam Sylvester.
Before the end of the first, the Wranglers picked up a second goal when Dylan Scheunert found the back of the net unassisted.
While the Wranglers were hot on the offence they also put up an intimidating defence in the final game.
After the first 20 minutes of play the Vipers were unable to capitalize on the 10 shots they attempted on Wrangler goal tender Cameron Loomis-Labrosse.
In the middle frame the Wranglers were first to score, nearly five minutes into the period. Beaudon Rider, from Taite Opdendries and Brett Westin, lengthened the Wranglers’ lead to 3-0.
Before the end of the period the Vipers picked up some speed and closed the distance on the lead the Wranglers had created.
In the final 10 minutes of the second period the Red Deer Vipers sent the puck sailing to the back of the net twice.
With a score of 3-2 for the Wranglers, it was anyones game with one period left.
Opdendries scored the game winning goal seconds into the final period.
The Wranglers played a tough defence in the final period, not wanting to take the game into overtime.
With 20 seconds left on the clock, the Vipers were able to sneak one last goal through the Wranglers’ defence. It wasn’t enough to take the game into overtime, and the Wranglers came away with a victory and are moving on in the playoffs.
Next the Wranglers will face the Mountainview Colts for the division title. Sylvan Lake will have home ice for the series, which is expected to kick off this weekend.
On the other side of the bracket, the Okotoks Bisons will take on the Cochrane Generals for the chance to play for the league championship.