Dunnys Atom AEs - OMHA Champions!!!, News (St. Marys Minor Hockey)

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Dunnys Atom AEs - OMHA Champions!!!
Submitted By jbrock on Thursday, April 5, 2018
Dunny’s Atoms score three unanswered third-period goals Saturday in Port Elgin

By Pat Payton PORT ELGIN - The third time was the charm for the Dunny’s Source for Sports A-E Atoms. After losing the first two games of the best-of-five OMHA final at the Saugeen Shores Community Complex, Sean Porter’s squad won the fifth and deciding game here last Saturday afternoon.

Three third-period goals erased a 1-0 deficit and gave the St. Marys Rock a 3-1 victory over the home-town Storm.

“The kids played well,” coach Porter told the Independent after arriving back in town early Saturday night. “We reminded them before the game that they hadn’t lost more than twice to any team this year. We had good fan support up there; it was like a home game for us.

“The kids worked hard and battled back. We kept the boys positive on the bench, and we knew if we got one we’d get two. Grier Mahoney got the comeback started.”

Saugeen Shores opened the scoring late in the second period on a goal by Emmett Jackson.

Mahoney tied it 1-1 at 7:07 of the third, and captain Ty Wheeler fired what proved to be the winner 70 seconds later. Jared Ballantyne assisted on both powerplay goals.

Connor Wheeler clinched it for St. Marys with an empty-netter with just 18 seconds left on the clock. Ty Wheeler assisted.

The net win went to Trevor Aarts.

“It’s still sinking in,” Porter replied when asked how it feels to be provincial champions. “It was a fun car ride home and we’re going to a have a fun night tonight for sure.”

‘Something special’

Porter said it was “a real pleasure” working with the players and the coaching staff, which included Jared Frayne, Greg Wolfkamp, Doug Johnson and Mike Hall.

“Frayner and I talked, and we knew a couple of games into the season that we had something special,” Porter said. “After winning Regional Silver Stick in Collingwood, we felt that we could go deep in the playoffs. We knew we had a special team.

“We had some close series, and it was good to see the kids pull it out.”

Assistant coach Frayne said “hard work” was the biggest reason for Saturday’s Game 5 victory.

“We got a couple of quick ones on that goalie (Tyler Little), and he seems to get rattled,” Frayne said. “But I give that kid credit, he battled the whole series. You’re going to remember that name in about 10 years. He’s a good little goalie.”

Frayne, who played on back-to-back All-Ontario St. Marys Bantam teams coached by Ken Schiedel, said this year’s Atom A-E squad was “special” because the players listened and wanted to learn.

“The biggest thing about these kids is that they were sponges,” Frayne said. “These kids listened to you and they looked up to you. At the end of the year, we had names for our drills at practice. We’d just call out a drill and they would go and do it.

“At that age, at Atom A-E, it’s unbelievable to see for 9 and 10-year-old hockey players. I’ve coached for a lot of years and I’ve never had a team like this before. These kids are a special group and they were rewarded.”

OMHA notes:

--An estimated 100 to 150 St. Marys fans made the trip to Port Elgin Saturday for Game 5.

--The Dunny’s Atoms played over 60 games this 2017-18 season.

--Sean Porter’s charges went 15-4 in 19 OMHA playoff games. They out-scored Saugeen Shores 14-11 in the final series.

--The Atoms had a great season, finishing first in the Shamrock League (15-3-2), winning the Regional Silver Stick title undefeated (5-0) in Collingwood, and finishing second at the International Silver Stick event in the Niagara area.

--The team was rewarded with a fire truck-led, tractor-pulled wagon ride through town Monday night.


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