Kodiaks bare their teeth

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:15 AM ET

FORT SASKATCHEWAN -- Fasten your seatbelt - we've got a series.

Proving they can listen and learn from a rather pointed lecture, the Camrose Kodiaks actually showed up for Game 2 of the AJHL final and subsequently tied the series with a black-and-blue 3-1 win over the Fort Saskatchewan Traders last night.

"I was very impressed," said Camrose head coach Boris Rybalka, who ripped his team Saturday night for not being ready to pay the price.

"We had 18 total hits in game one. That is unacceptable.

"Tonight, we had 54 hits."

Included in that tally were four bowling pin jobs that sent Traders goaltender Shannon Szabados sprawling

But with the Traders power play (one-for-nine) firing blanks almost the entire night, it was a perfect Camrose game plan.

The Kodiaks capitalized on their chances - scoring the first two goals - and set the table for a vicious Game 3 by stoking up the war of words.

"These aren't new tactics," said Fort Saskatchewan head coach Brett Cox on Camrose's game plan.

"Grand Prairie warned us about it. Fort Mac warned us about it. We said we were going to try to win it straight up.

"But if that is the rules that the refs, the officials and the league want to see applied, then we will play by those rules."

That means Camrose goaltender Allen York - who played very well last night - could be in some peril tomorrow in Game 3.

When asked if his team would go after York a little more, Cox replied: "It's going to be a challenge now, isn't it?"

But that isn't worrying Rybalka. "York is a big boy and he will handle himself," he said.

The Kodiaks are more concerned about Szabados.

"We don't think she handles rebounds well," Rybalka said of the Traders netminder.

"She is a great goaltender, but as you saw, there are lots of rebounds.

"We are going to the net looking for the rebounds because they are there."

That was the story on the first goal as the puck slipped through Szabados's legs, leaving Mike Connolly with a wide open net.

Connolly also set up Kaylen Wiancko's tally midway through the second to make it 2-0.

Kyle Pess answered for the Traders late in the frame, but Jesse Todd ended any hope of a comeback with a goal at 12:38 of the third to make it 3-1.

That opened the floodgates to a bitter and chippy sprint to the final whistle.

There were a whopping 92 minutes in penalties in the final 3:43 of the game, including several after Szabados was bowled over again.

But she's not about to complain.

"I think they took four for goalie interference and one or two for yapping at me after the whistle," she remarked.

"I don't mind giving up those penalties. We just have to go out there and capitalize on them."

Referee Tom Trottier called 35 penalties in the game for a total of 128 minutes.

JHUNTINGTON@EDMSUN.COM


Videos

Photos