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Cobras wrap up provincials first round, winning streak continues

With wins against Theodore on Feb. 3, and Rosetown the following afternoon, the Canora Cobras grew their winning streak to 14 games.

CANORA — Over the Feb. 3-4 weekend, the Canora Cobras pushed their impressive winning streak to 14 games, including the last 12 games of the regular season, and a two-game sweep in the opening round of provincials.

On Saturday, the Cobras hosted the Theodore Buffalos in the final game of the SEHL regular season, and were full marks for their 5-2 win, according to Coach Darren Schwartz.

“The first period was one of the best periods for us all year,” said Schwartz. “It was a tight game, that’s what we needed, to show that we can play a tight game like that.”

A late goal by Logan Foster of the Cobras broke a 2-2 tie heading into the middle period.

“Again, he came thru at the right time,” said Schwartz. “That goal was a big game changer. Theodore had momentum, but that goal set the tone for the rest of the game.”

The Cobras added two more goals in the final two periods, while shutting out Theodore the rest of the way.

“That’s what we have to do, we kept them down to two goals with a solid team effort, while Rylan Palchewich stood on his head again in goal.”

As the game went on, there were more and more skirmishes, and it became increasingly obvious that these two teams don’t like each other.

“This rivalry goes back a long way,” said Schwartz, “and it’ll only get worse if we meet them in the second round of the playoffs. It looked like the crowd enjoyed the game, it was one of our best crowds of the season so far.”

As he has done numerous times so far this season, Logan Foster led the Cobras offense, this time with a goal and two assists. Other goal scorers for the Cobras were: Ryley Stefanyshyn of Canora, Cole Rathgeber, Scott Mickoski and Skyler Hladun.

Cobras eliminate Rosetown

The next afternoon, Canora hosted the Rosetown Red Wings with the chance to close out the first round of provincials in two straight games. The Cobras took full advantage of the opportunity, eliminating Rosetown with a decisive 8-1 victory.

“We got off to a good start, our starts have been good lately,” said Schwartz. “We came out and banged them. That took a lot out of them.”

Once again, Rylan Palchewich had a strong game in goal.

“Rylan has been playing very well, and that’s what we’ll need going forward. Durban Hleboff is good on the road, he will get his chance then next time we have a road game.”

The offensive depth of the Cobras was once again on full display, with a dozen players contributing at least a point to the victory. Kody Rock of Canora led the way with two goals and one assist, while Troy Zulyniak had one goal and two assists. Skyler Hladun found the net twice, giving him three goals for the weekend. The other goals came from the sticks of Vaughn Wilgosh and William Hauber of Canora, and Logan Foster.

“We’re not a one-line team anymore,” said Schwartz. “We have guys spread out all over the league scoring leaders, which has been a big part our success.”

Logan Foster was the Cobras top regular season scorer, finishing seventh in the league with 35 points on 20 goals and 15 assists. Scott Mickoski was 11th with 33 points, just ahead of Kody Rock in 12th at 31 points. Other Cobras in the top 20 scorers were Ryley Stefanyshyn in 14th with 30 points and Skyler Hladun with 24 points, good for 19th. 

The first round of the SEHL playoffs has the Cobras hosting the Cote Selects in the best-of-three opening round. Schwartz said he expects a difficult series.

“We have to be ready to play, it’s a new season. You don’t get a second chance in the playoffs. Cote can score with anyone in the league. We have to get a jump on them and stay ahead. You don’t want to have a close game or get behind them.”

Schwartz said it’s a big plus that the Cobras have home ice for the Cote series and throughout the playoffs, and the team is looking forward to the home ice advantage provided by their dedicated fans. Game one goes Friday, Feb. 9.

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