Atoms, Bantams involved in a lot of close games, News (St. Marys Minor Hockey)

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Atoms, Bantams involved in a lot of close games
Submitted By Pete Frehner on Thursday, October 25, 2018
By Pat Payton

The Dunny’s Source for Sports Atoms and the Frayne Custom Cabinets Bantams were both involved in a lot of close, nail-biting games in the annual Additional-Entry tournament this past weekend at the PRC.

Matt King’s Atoms played four games and out-scored their opposition 7-5 overall. They won two games, tied another, and lost their final contest in overtime. That 2-1 defeat came in a Sunday morning semi-final, ending their chances of playing in the championship game in the afternoon.

The Dunny’s Atoms opened the weekend with a 3-1 victory over Mitchell early Friday morning. The contest was deadlocked 1-1 going into the third.

Grier Mahoney paced the St. Marys offence with a pair of goals, with Kaleb Dingman adding the single marker. Isaac Cousineau notched the net win.

In their second start Friday afternoon, the Dunny’s Atoms were the dominant team, but had to settle for a 1-1 tie with Kincardine Kinucks.

After Kincardine opened the scoring in the first period, Reid Taylor tied it for St. Marys early in the middle frame with the teams playing four aside.

Matt King’s squad had the better scoring chances over the final two periods, and probably deserved a better fate. Zach Larmer had a strong game on the blue line for the Rock.

Improving every game

“We had lots of opportunities in both games and we need to get a little hungrier around the net,” coach King said. “Against Kincardine, we tried to force the puck up the middle of the ice, but in the first game we stayed a little wider and let our speed do the work. It’s coming; it’s a work in progress for sure.

“A lot of it is building confidence in the kids. We have a lot of players coming from different teams, but we’re improving every time we hit the ice and that makes us happy. I think the potential with this group is big.”

On Saturday morning, the Dunny’s Atoms improved their record to 2-0-1 with a tight 2-1 win over Ingersoll.

Goals by Harper Murrell and Reid Taylor staked St. Marys to a 2-0 lead. A third-period goal by Ingersoll made it a one-goal game.

“We played hard,” assistant coach Mark Brintnell said. “It was a close game, and Ingersoll played well, too.”

The hard-fought win earned the Atom Rock a bye to Sunday morning’s semi-final.

In that semi-final game, the Dunny’s Atoms dropped a heart-breaking 2-1 decision in overtime to Listowel. The teams were playing 3-on-3 at the time of the winning goal.

Kaleb Dingman opened the scoring for St. Marys in the second period. Listowel tied it early in the third, and then netted the winner midway through the five-minute extra session.

Three one-goal games for Bantams

The Frayne Bantams also played four games on the weekend, and three of the four were decided by just a single goal. Overall, Dale Switzer’s squad scored seven goals and allowed only eight against.

In their opening game Friday afternoon, the Frayne Bantams emerged with a 3-2 victory over BCH (Bayfield Clinton-Hensall).

Jake Pfaff scored twice for St. Marys, with Gavin Muir adding the single. Jake Grant contributed two assists, while the net win went to Kiefer MacNeil.

“It was kind of a back and forth game, but I think we carried the play,” coach Switzer reported. “We roll with three lines and five defencemen.”

In their second start Friday night, the Frayne Bantams skated to a hard-fought 1-0 decision over a big, physical Glanbrook Rangers squad.

Nathan Switzer’s goal at 4:19 of the third period broke a 0-0 stalemate and it stood up as the winner.

St. Marys played shorthanded for the final 1:54 of the contest. Rangers also pulled their goaltender for a sixth attacker in the final minute, but the Rock held on. Goalie Jack Aarts posted the shutout.

“The guys have been staying in the games,” coach Switzer said after their Game 2 win. “For the most part, they’re staying disciplined and that’s what we’ve asked them to do.

“Glanbrook played more physical than we did tonight, but the boys didn’t back away. It’s different from the start of the year, so I would say that’s an improvement. I’m happy to see that.”

In their third round-robin game Saturday afternoon, the Frayne crew dropped a 2-0 decision to Ayr Flames. Flames scored the winning goal, on a powerplay, with just three seconds left in the second period.

It was a good game between two evenly-matched teams, but the loss forced the Rock to play a quarter-final contest later that night.

In that quarter-final contest, the Frayne Bantams were sent to the sidelines after losing 4-3 to St. Thomas. Scoring for St. Marys were Jake Pfaff, Owen Boyd and Jake Littlejohn.

Tourney notebook:

--A total of 24 A-E teams--eight in each of the Atom, Peewee and Bantam divisions--took part in the tournament this past weekend. Teams came from as far away as Huntsville, Penetang and Pelham. A total of 51 games were played over the three days.

--Doing another fine job as tourney convener was Kristene McCurdy, who has held that position for the past five or six years.

--Collingwood blanked Listowel 5-0 in the Atom final, while Glanbrook defeated Ayr 2-1 in the Bantam final. After regulation time and a five-minute overtime, the score was still deadlocked 1-1. The winning goal came in a shootout.

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