The Miniota-Elkhorn C-Hawks edged past the Moosomin Rangers to win the first game of the NCHL South Final series 6-5 Thursday night in Elkhorn.
A year ago, the Rangers and C-Hawks battled it out in a hard-fought league final series that went to the fifth game before the Rangers triumphed as NCHL champs.
Elkhorn's offense was aggressive Thursday night, with 51 shots on goal to the Rangers' 23.
The C-Hawks took an early lead in Thursday night's game, leading 2-0 after the first period.
The Rangers tied it up in the second before Elkhorn scored on a power play to take a one-goal lead. Brayden Nabholz made a great shot to tie the game 3-3.
The C-Hawks came on strong at the start of the third period, with a goal one minute in, followed by a power play goal, quickly followed up by a third goal to take a 6-3 lead in the first few minutes of the third period.
Eight minutes into the third period, Braeden Boschman scored for the Rangers on a power play to narrow the gap, then Jackson Wallis scored for Moosomin just past the halfway mark of the third period to bring the Rangers within one goal.
The Rangers couldn't break through for another goal, and the game ended 6-5.
Game 2 goes tonight at the Communiplex at 8:00 pm. The Plex should be packed as the perennial rivals take to the ice again.
Game three goes Tuesday night back in Elkhorn at 8:30 pm
See more great photos of Thursday's game in Monday's World-Spectator!