It's no secret that Mitch Wall is an impact player for the Edam Three Stars.
He has led the Saskatchewan Prairie Hockey League in goals for the past two regular seasons and led the league in points last playoffs, helping his club win their first league championship.
So it probably wasn't too surprising that with his team on the brink of elimination, he stepped up and scored two goals on Wednesday night, helping Edam defeat Meota 3-2 in game three of the SPHL semifinal.
"Mitch Wall is our leader and he shows that game in and game out," Edam head coach Martin Smith said after the win, whch forced a game four this Friday at home. "He showed it tonight with two big goals. It was just going hard to the net and not giving up; just powering his way until the puck goes in. He's the best power forward in the league. He's one of the best finesse players in the league. He's a great player and he showed that tonight."
Wall's game-winning-goal came with under five minutes to go in the third period and broke a 2-2 deadlock.
"Their 'D' pinched up and we chipped it by him and we just went hard to the net," Smith said of that game-winning goal. "[At 2-2], it's just simple playoff hockey and you make sure you're checking from the right side of the puck. You limit your mistakes and then you give yourselves a chance to win."
Heading into Wednesday's game, Wall had just one assist in the first two games of the semis against the Combines, which were both 4-3 wins for Meota.
In six games this post-season, Wall now has four goals and 10 assists, fourth in league playoff scoring.
Hurting the Combines on Wednesday was the absence of star Blake Tatchell after the first period. He was limited to seven games this regular season and posted 23 points. He also missed the first four playoff games, but led the way in game one against Edam with two goals and an assist.
"When they lost Tatchell in the first period, they had to juggle their lines a little bit and we just kept rolling ours," Smith said. "We never quit working. It's a testament to the guys in the room."
Scoring the other goal for the Three Stars was Brody Roach, while Michael Pylypow and Troy Watt had the Combines goals.
Rest of the Series
Game 4: Combines at Three Stars, Friday, March 2, 8:30 p.m.
Game 5: Three Stars at Combines, Saturday, Mar 3, Time TBD, North Battleford Civic Centre (*If necessary)
Other SPHL Semifinal
The Three Stars weren't the only team to stave off elimination on Wednesday.
The top-ranked Hafford Hawks doubled up the Battleford Beaver Blues 6-3 and now trail in the best-of-five semifinal series 2-1.
Tyler Hubbard and Kobe Kindrachuk had two goals each for the Hawks, while Brandon Lesko and Micheal Lamborn each had single tallies.
Blues forward Mike George built on his playoff scoring lead, putting up two goals and an assist in the loss. He now leads the post-season scoring race with 20 points.
Cody Danberg had the other Blues goal, and trails George by two points. Brent Salzl had two assists, and is behind George by just one point.
Rest of the Series
Game 4: Hawks at Blues, Thursday, March 2, 7:30 p.m., Battleford Arena
Game 5: Blues at Hawks, Sunday, March 4, 5 p.m., Hafford and District Communiplex (*If necessary)
On Twitter: @NathanKanter11
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