The Big Six Hockey League’s playoffs have started with a mix of close games and blowouts.
The post-season began last week with a two-game, total goal series between the Arcola-Kisbey Combines and the Kipling-Windthorst Oil Capitals, who were the eighth and ninth place teams, respectively, during the regular season. Arcola-Kisbey won 5-2 Feb. 7 in Arcola to take the two-game, total-goal play-in series 8-6.
The Oil Capitals had a 4-1 lead at one point in the third period in Game 1 Feb. 6 in Kipling, but the Combines rallied with two markers late in the third to pull within one.
Kipling-Windthorst opened the scoring in Game 2, but Arcola-Kisbey rattled off five unanswered goals, including three in the second period, to take the lead. The Oil Capitals final goal didn’t come until the last minute in the third period.
The Combines are now playing the top-seeded Redvers Rockets in a best-of-five quarter-final series. Redvers won Game 1 13-2 on home ice Feb. 9, and took Game 2 7-0 in Arcola two nights later.
Dates for the remaining games in the series haven’t been established.
The other three quarter-final series also saw teams grab 2-0 leads. The second-ranked Carnduff Red Devils beat the seventh-seeded Midale Mustangs 5-2 in Game 1 Feb. 8 in Carnduff, and took Game 2 3-0 in Midale three nights later. Game 3 was slated for Feb. 13 in Carnduff.
The defending league champions, the No. 3 Yellow Grass Wheat Kings, lead the sixth-seeded Wawota Flyers 2-0 in their showdown. Yellow Grass won Game 1 5-4 on Feb. 7 at home, and took Game 2 8-3 in Wawota two nights later. Game 3 was set for Feb. 13 in Yellow Grass.
Game 4, if necessary, would be Feb. 18 in Wawota and Game 5 is slated for Feb. 21 in Yellow Grass.
Finally, the No. 5 Bienfait Coalers lead the No. 4 Carlyle Cougars 2-0. Bienfait stunned Carlyle 8-1 on Feb. 9, and beat the Cougars 5-4 in overtime Feb. 11 in the first extra time game of the postseason.
Game 3 is set for Feb. 17 in Carlyle, and Game 4 would be Feb. 18 in Bienfait. Game 5 is scheduled for Feb. 21 in Carlyle.