Coach Boyd says discipline key
in Shamrock final against Rockets
ANAF ‘BB’ Bantams’ coach Brandon Boyd says it will take lots of “discipline” to win their Shamrock League playoff final against league rival Strathroy Rockets.“It’s going to take disciplined hockey,” Boyd said following a 2-2 overtime tie against the Rockets last Thursday night at the PRC. “We have a history of retaliating physically or verbally when we don’t get calls. Several players have to learn to adjust to that. We have to focus on what we can control.
“This Strathroy goalie can come unglued, if you get to him. He let in 20 goals in three games in their last OMHA playoff series, but we’ve made him look good this year with low quality scoring chances. We have to try and get him off his game and capitalize from that,” he added.
Thursday’s tie left St. Marys with a 3-1 lead in the six-point SHL series. Game 3 is Tuesday Mar 26th in Strathroy, with Game 4 back at the PRC Thursday, Mar. 28 at 8 p.m. If a fifth game is necessary, it will be played Friday in Strathroy starting at 8:10 p.m.
Feisty affair in Game 2
In Game 2 last Thursday, it was a feisty affair between two teams who have played a lot of hockey against each other this season. The teams traded goals late in the first period. Rock forward Carter Reid opened the scoring with an unassisted, shorthanded breakaway goal at the 5:57 mark. However, just 32 seconds later, Rockets tied it 1-1.
Strathroy connected again in the opening minute of the second period and took the 2-1 lead into the intermission break.
St. Marys winger Keegan Nethercott--with his fourth goal of the series--tied it at 2:33 of the third, flipping home a shot from close range. Maurice Kiestra assisted.
The ANAF squad finished regulation time with a five-minute powerplay after three players and the Rockets’ head coach were ejected. The penalties were assessed after an altercation along the boards. One of the Strathroy players received a major for being the third man in during a fight.
The Rock got another powerplay opportunity in overtime, but couldn’t convert with the man advantage. The home team also had a goal waved off at the 5:57 mark of the 10-minute extra period when the referee ruled that the whistle had blown before the puck entered the net.
Overall, the two sides combined for 61 minutes in penalties.
“It was a night-and-day game in comparison to the first game in Strathroy,” coach Boyd reported. “It was a clean game, and we’d been off for a couple of weeks from competitive hockey. But we were composed, and we were making sharp passes and playing heads-up hockey. We played as a complete team and controlled the game from start to finish.
“But tonight, the penalties kind of threw the game in a different direction. Both teams became a little unhinged, and we got away from our game. We didn’t get as many quality scoring chances as we would have liked tonight.
“Losing Keegan, our top goal-scorer, hurts but we’ll just have to get the shovels out next Tuesday night in Strathroy.”
Three for Nethercott
In the series opener two nights earlier in Strathroy, Keegan Nethercott scored all three St. Marys goals in a 3-1 victory over the Rockets.
The big winger opened the scoring midway through the first period, and added two more tallies before the seven-minute mark of the middle frame. Kirk Boreham earned two assists and Ben Richardson one.
ANAF goalie Nic Kiestra lost his shutout bid at 5:06 of the third.
The teams combined for just eight minutes in penalties.
ANAF Bantams' centre Carter Reid opened the scoring with a shorthanded breakaway goal late in the first period Thursday night at the PRC. In a feisty affair, the Rock battled Strathroy Rockets to a 2-2 overtime tie. Game 4 in the SHL six-point final series is this Thursday in St. Marys at 8 p.m. (Payton photo)