Preview: Huskies look to bounce back in Game 4 after back-to-back losses to Comets

MANNING — The Grimshaw Huskies will look to bounce back from two straight losses when they take on the Manning Comets in their pivotal Game 4 match-up tomorrow night.

After opening their semi-final series with a 3-0 shutout victory at home the Huskies have dropped back-to-back decisions to the Manning Comets, and will now need to secure a win tomorrow night to avoid falling behind 3-1 in the series. While Grimshaw would open the playoffs with a dedicated defensive effort in Game 1, while also getting some great goaltending from Bud Dyck — in the two games since the Huskies have surrendered twelve goals.

While some of the blame could fall on the Huskies for getting away from playing responsible defensive hockey, a lot of credit has to go to the Comets for their offensive resurgence in Games 2 and 3. Despite finishing the regular season with the lowest amount of goals scored in the NPHL (58), Manning has averaged six goals a game over the passed two contests.

While the revitalization of the Comets’ offence has been a key factor in their success the passed two games, Manning goaltender Braden Gamble has also played a major part in earning his team a two games to one lead in their semi-final series. Despite taking a loss in Game 1, Gamble has put together three straight games of quality goaltending, leading the post-season in Goals Against Average (.267).

His counterpart Bud Dyck, who became just the 11th goalie in the history of the NPHL playoffs to open the post-season with a shutout, would be replaced to start Game 2 by Huskies’ back-up Riley Medves. With Dyck’s status currently up in the air for Game 4, Grimshaw could be facing a hefty challenge as Medves is seeing his first action of the season after having not made a single start for the Huskies during their 2018.2019 campaign.

For Manning Michael Gillen has been hot, putting up six points (3G, 3A) in three games so far this post-season, while teammate Matt Boyd has also been on a hot streak for the Comets registering two goals and four assists in three games. For Grimshaw Josh Peters has been their hottest scorer so far this post-season, with six points so far (4G, 2A), while Sheldon Szmata has also been hot for the Huskies tallying four assists in three games. For the Huskies, forward Ty Wiebe has been cold to start the playoffs, and will need to ignite his game if Grimshaw hopes to pull even on Tuesday night. Wiebe won the regular season scoring title with 56 points in 24 games, but only has 2 points against the Comets this post-season.

Tomorrow’s crucial Game 4 will be played at the Manning Sports Centre Arena.

–Alex Rodgerson, Trending 55 News

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