Firefighter Peewees defeat Lindsay, capture OMHA title, News (St. Marys Minor Hockey)

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Firefighter Peewees defeat Lindsay, capture OMHA title
Submitted By admin on Thursday, March 28, 2019
Rock team goes 15-4 in provincial playoff march  

By Pat Payton  

LINDSAY - Last season, the Firefighter Peewees reached the OMHA ‘BB’ final and lost to Napanee Stars. This year, the goal was to hoist the provincial championship trophy and Dwain Smith’s Rock team did just that here Sunday afternoon.

A 4-2 victory over the home-town Muskies gave Firefighters the best-of-five series three games to one. After last year’s emotional loss to Napanee, Sunday’s win was extra special for Smith and company.

“We have a few returning players from last year, so I think it was good for them to get another crack at an Ontario championship,” coach Smith said. “I think the boys wanted to get it done today.

“I know our coaching staff is elated with it. After getting that close last year, we were able to do it this year and it feels pretty good right now.”

Rock 4 - Muskies 2

Like he has all season, centre Ryan Hodkinson sparked the Firefighters’ offence Sunday with three goals and an assist.

After the teams were tied 1-1 at the end of the first period, Lindsay went ahead 2-1 with a shorthanded goal 51 seconds into the middle frame. Hodkinson tied it just over three minutes later, and then Colton Henderson fired what proved to be the winner late in the period. Finn Stewart earned his second assist of the game on the goal.

Captain Hodkinson completed his hat trick midway through the third from Griffin McGregor. “I think it was Ryan’s best game of the series,” coach Smith noted.

The net win went to Carter Froggett, who played well for a second straight day. Muskies held a 23-18 edge in shots.

“I just feel we were fortunate enough to have three lines that we could count on,” Smith said. “The first-year guys really dug in today and attacked the puck. We took some of their top players off their game by playing our game. We were crashing the net and trying to get rebounds.

“Lindsay is a good team; they have a few players who could hurt you. I didn’t want to come back to St. Marys for Game 5.”

Nate Schiedel didn’t get a point on Sunday, but coach Smith said the hard-working forward was a “standout” in the Lindsay series. “Playoffs bring out of the best in Nate Schiedel; he just stepped it up and had a great series,” he said.

Rock 4 - Muskies 0

In the pivotal third game of the final Saturday afternoon, a quick start was the key for the Firefighter Peewees in a 4-0 victory over the home-town Muskies.

The win gave the Rock a 2-1 series lead, leaving them just one victory from a provincial ‘BB’ title.

Colton Henderson scored 48 seconds into the contest, from Ryan Hodkinson and Finn Stewart, and the goal would stand up as the winner. An unassisted goal by Griffin McGregor put the Lindsay team down 2-0 just two minutes into the contest.

“That was the whole game right there; it deflated them,” Dwain Smith said. “We were preaching good quality shots instead of just the number of shots.”

Nate Schiedel put St. Marys up 3-0 midway through the second period. Schiedel then completed the scoring with his second of the game just 15 seconds into the third. Brock Chessell assisted on the shorthanded marker. It came after Muskies had changed goalies to start the final period. “That goal just took the wind right out of their sails,” Smith said.

Shots were 24-23 in favour of the Firefighters, with Carter Froggett earning the shutout. Both teams picked up 12 penalty minutes.

“We stopped Lindsay on their breakout quite a bit,” Smith noted. “They have a couple of guys who can really wheel. Our high guy came into effect; he was our first line of defence, then our defence could step up. We hemmed them in their zone quite a bit, too.

“Lindsay has a couple of standouts, No. 91 and No. 27, who do the majority of their scoring. And they have a giant of a defenceman in No. 8, who can skate and handle the puck.”

Smith hoped Firefighters would be bringing home an OMHA title following Sunday’s Game 4.

“We don’t want to take any chances or take anything for granted,” the coach said. “We want to play our game and go right at them. We don’t want to force Game 5.”

OMHA playoff notebook:

--Firefighter Peewees defeated Mt. Brydges (3-1), Dorchester (3-1), Caledonia (3-1), Niagara-on-the-Lake (3-0) and Lindsay (3-1) on their way to the 2019 provincial title. In 19 playoff games, Dwain Smith’s squad posted a 15-4 won-loss record and out-scored their opposition 60-34.

--The Lindsay Peewees lost just seven games all season, with three coming in the final series against St. Marys.

 

 

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