OMHA Playoff Update, News (St. Marys Minor Hockey)

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Feb 15, 2018 | jbrock | 1009 views
OMHA Playoff Update
Several SMMHA teams find themselves moving deeper into the OMHA Playdowns.

Schiedel line sparks Firefighters in opener

Rock quiets Caledonia Thunder 5-2 on Monday night at PRC

By Pat Payton

The Caledonia Thunder couldn’t contain the Schiedel line Monday night at the PRC.

The trio of centre Jimmy Schiedel, and wingers Owen and Ian Boyd combined for four goals and eight total points in a 5-2 Firefighter Peewees’ victory over the Thunder.

The win gave Dwain Smith’s squad a 1-0 lead in a best-of-five OMHA quarter-final playoff series.

Game 2 was Wednesday in Caledonia, with Game 3 back in St. Marys on Mon., Feb. 19 at 8:20 p.m. If necessary, Game 4 is Wednesday, Feb. 21 in Caledonia at 7 p.m.

Two skating teams

Monday’s series opener featured two teams that can both skate and move the puck.

The Thunder came out and pushed the pace and opened the scoring at 5:33 of the first period. However, the visitors’ lead was short-lived as Owen Boyd tied it just over a minute later.

At the 6:33 of the middle frame, Owen Boyd connected from the slot--putting the Firefighters ahead to stay. The prettiest goal of the night also proved to be the winner as captain Schiedel neatly set up Ian Boyd for a one-timer at 12:10.

Just 43 seconds later, Ryan Hodkinson slipped the puck between the legs of the Caledonia goalie to make it 4-1. The Thunder made a goaltending change following the goal.

Caledonia showed they weren’t throwing in the towel when they scored with 1:15 left in the period.

There was no further scoring until Schiedel found the empty Thunder net with just 34 seconds left in the third.

Schiedel finished the game with a goal and three assists, while the Boyd brothers each had two points. Josh Ballantyne picked up the net win.

“I think Caledonia has 145 goals this season and has only allowed 31, so we know they can score,” coach Smith said. “I think their defence might be a little weaker than Strathroy’s and hopefully we can take advantage of that.

“We were holding our sticks a little tight early in the game. Once we tied it up, we settled down and started playing our game.”

Smith noted that his defensive unit also played a strong game in Monday’s opener.

“We’ve been working on that in practice, don’t puck watch, follow the body,” he said. “I was very happy with our defence tonight; they were taking care of business.”

The series is far from over, the coach added. “We’re not taking anything for granted,” Smith said. “I think it’s going to be a good series.”

McEwan emerges hero

In Strathroy last Thursday night, Rourke McEwan emerged the hero for the Firefighter Peewees. The defenceman scored two goals in the last three minutes of the game to lift the Rock to a 3-2 victory over the Jr. Rockets.

The win gave St. Marys the best-of-five series in four games.

The teams were deadlocked 1-1 after two periods. Ryan Hodkinson scored the Firefighters’ goal.

After Strathroy took a 2-1 lead early in the third, McEwan tied it with just 2:06 to play. He then fired the winner with only 68 seconds left on the clock. Both goals were unassisted.

Other OMHA action

--The Dunny’s Source for Sports A-E Atoms went a perfect 6-0 in their OMHA round-robin playoff series. Sean Porter’s crew won their sixth straight game last Sunday in Petrolia, blasting the Oilers 15-0.

The Atom Rock now plays Strathroy Jr. Rockets in a best-of-five series. Game 2 is this Friday in Strathroy at 7:05 p.m.

--Dan Murrell’s Stonetown Foodland A-E Novices are currently involved in a six-team, 10-game round-robin. They defeated the Dragons 6-4 in Dorchester Sunday to improve their round-robin record to 3-2-2. They lost 6-1 to Mt. Brydges Cougars at home on Monday night.

--The Frayne Custom Cabinets A-E Bantams saw their OMHA playoffs come to an end Sunday in Dorchester after losing 2-1 to the Dragons. Brent Rae’s squad went 2-2 in their three-team, four-game round-robin series. The Rock swept Lambeth, but lost two one-goal decisions to Dorchester.

Legion Midgets, Flags all square at 2-2

Series now a best-of-three

By Pat Payton

It started as a best-of-seven OMHA ‘BB’ playoff series. It’s now been reduced to a best-of-three.

On Sunday night at the PRC, Mooretown Jr. Flags defeated the Royal Canadian Legion Minor Midgets 5-1, tying the best-of-seven set at two games apiece.

Game 5 is this Saturday in Mooretown at 5:25 p.m. Game 6 is Sunday back in St. Marys, starting at 7 p.m.

“We have to win in Mooretown again,” Rock coach Owen Penney said after Sunday’s game. “It’s a matter of using our speed and pressuring the puck in deep and forcing their defence to make mistakes in their own zone.”

Jr. Flags capitalize

In Game 4 last Sunday, the Jr. Flags capitalized on their chances and the Legion Midgets did not. The hard-hitting, feisty contest was closer than the 5-1 score might indicate.

The Rock had all the early scoring opportunities, including several on a 5-on-3 powerplay early in the second period. Shortly after, Mooretown defenceman Blake Howard opened the scoring on a powerplay. And just over a minute later, Howard struck again--making it 2-0. Just before the intermission break, Hunter Round made it 3-0 for the Jr. Flags.

The Legion crew were looking for a quick start in the third, but it was the visitors who got it. Gavin Gray scored just 36 seconds into the period to put Mooretown ahead 4-0. Round tacked on the Jr. Flags’ fifth goal on a powerplay at 4:23.

Mooretown goalie Luc Thorne-Smith had a strong game, continually making big stops for his team. St. Marys centreman Blake Boreham spoiled his shutout bid with just 3:52 to play.

“We were getting good chances tonight and huge rebounds from him, but we couldn’t seem to find that extra little inch to put the puck in the net,” coach Penney said. “I thought we deflated a lot after Mooretown scored their first goal . . . our hearts sunk a little bit.

“They capitalized on their chances, and that was definitely the difference 100 per cent tonight.”

Eight of the 14 minor penalties went to the Jr. Flags.

Defenceman Scott McClelland was called up from the ANAF ‘BB’ Bantams for both weekend games.

Three third-period goals

In Game 3 Saturday in Mooretown, the Legion Midgets scored three unanswered third-period goals to claim a 4-1 victory.

“We came out real hard in the third and got an early goal, and then got another one right away,” coach Penney reported. “We learned how to play in their (small) rink, and got some good goals in the third period.”

George Hensel, recently moved up from defence to forward, scored twice for St. Marys. Lake Taylor and Blake Boreham (into an empty net) had the singles, and Alex Martens posted the net win.

G&CC Atoms, Devils tied 1-1 in quarter-finals

Games 3 and 4 in series this coming weekend

By Pat Payton

ERIN-HILLSBURGH - After seven straight OMHA playoffs wins, the Golf and Country Club ‘BB’ Atoms dropped a 5-4 decision to the Erin-Hillsburgh Devils here Sunday afternoon.

The best-of-five provincial quarter-final series is now deadlocked 1-1.

“I thought we out-chanced them, but their goalie was the difference,” Rock coach Dan Schiedel told the Independent. “He made some timely saves for them; he was the key to their win today.

“Erin-Hillsburgh is a gritty team, and we weren’t getting the second and third (scoring) chances today. But we’ll be all right. I’m confident our guys will bounce back,” he added.

The teams were tied 1-1 after the first period, but St. Marys held a 4-3 advantage going into the final 15 minutes. Devils tied it early in the third, and then netted the winner with 4:35 left on the clock.

The visitors pulled goalie Cyler Pickering for an extra attacker in the final minute and had a couple of good chances to tie it.

Colton Henderson, Griffin McGregor and defencemen George Payne and Grayson Boreham scored the Rock goals. Centre Nate Schiedel contributed two assists, while Boreham, Evan Ballantyne, Hayden Brintnell and Trevor Richardson also drew assists.

The pivotal third game is this Saturday in Erin-Hillsburgh at 2:30 p.m. Game 4 is Sunday at the PRC, starting at 5:15 p.m.

St. Marys 6 - Erin-Hillsburgh 2

In the series opener Saturday afternoon at the PRC, a relentless forechecking attack helped propel the G&CC Atoms to a 6-2 victory over the Devils.

Forwards Griffin McGregor and Jayden Tipping paced the Rock offence with two goals apiece. The singles went to Oliver McHugh (powerplay) and George Payne. Winger Hayden Brintnell was the playmaker with three assists, while Nate Schiedel helped set up a pair of goals.

St. Marys took the play to Erin-Hillsburgh from the opening face-off, and as a result held a wide territorial edge for most of the game.

McGregor scored the only goal of the first period, and Tipping made it 2-0 early in the middle frame after good pressure in the Devils’ zone.

The teams then traded powerplay goals. After the visitors closed the gap to 2-1 at 7:37, McHugh answered just under three minutes later.

Rock goaltender Julian Walsh, meanwhile, made the timely saves when called upon--especially early in the third. Tipping added his second of the game at 8:09 after a nice pass from McGregor, and Payne put the home side ahead 5-1 at 11:49 when his shot from the point found its way through traffic.

After McGregor connected with a high shot at 13:06, Erin-Hillsburgh completed the scoring 39 seconds later.

Strong forechecking

Coach Dan Schiedel said a strong forechecking attack was a big key to the win.

“We were able to get on the puck and create turnovers today because of our energy,” Schiedel said. “Their defence is strong, but we put a little pressure on them, and we capitalized on a couple of opportunities.

“But I don’t think the score indicates that it was a 6-2 game today. It was a lot closer than that. It will be a different game tomorrow (Sunday) in Erin-Hillsburgh and we’ll have to be ready to go. They’re a strong skating team and they move the puck well, and we have to put pressure on their defence. I don’t expect them to roll over.”

What will it take to win the series, assistant coach Ken Schiedel was asked.

“The same effort as we got today,” he quickly replied. “We had a pretty good team effort today. We didn’t give them a chance to get going.”