Has history been made by a St. Marys minor hockey team?
By Pat Payton
It may very well be a first for the St. Marys Minor Hockey Association.
The Home Building Centre Additional-Entry Peewees won a second Regional Silver Stick title (in the same season) here on the Dec. 5-8 weekend. Reg Clinton’s squad also won a Regional Silver Stick tournament in Collingwood in mid-November, which earned them a spot in the International A-E event in the Niagara area, Jan. 9-12.
“It might be the first of its kind for a St. Marys team, and it was quite a good weekend in Ayr,” coach Clinton told the Independent.
In Ayr, Clinton apparently had no problem motivating his team as the HBC Peewees went a perfect 6-0 and out-scored their opposition 22-3 in the process. Backed by a strong defensive effort, goalies Trevor Aarts and Isaac Cousineau both earned two shutouts in the tourney.
Sixteen teams at qualifier
There were four pools of four teams. The Rock opened with a 4-0 win over Caledonia Thunder on the Thursday night, with winger Jonah Lariviere firing a hat trick in the physical contest. Sam Johnson added the single, and Cousineau posted the shutout.
On the Friday afternoon, the HBC squad skated to a 5-0 victory over the Huron-Bruce Blizzard (the combined centre of Lucknow and Ripley). Grier Mahoney scored twice, with Sam Johnson, Andre Mollet and Jonah Lariviere netting the singles. Aarts picked up the shutout in this one.Their third game Saturday morning was the Rock's toughest test of the round-robin as they played a skilled Durham team. Three second-period goals helped St. Marys defeat the Crusaders 5-2 and finish with a 3-0 record and in first place in their pool.
Jonah Lariviere, Myles Clinton, Simon Greig, Finn Wright and Connor Wheeler scored for the HBC crew, and Cousineau played well in recording the net win.
In the quarter-finals on the Saturday night, the Rock then met Tillsonburg--which had finished second in another pool--and defeated the Tornadoes 2-1 in a shootout. Another tight-checking, physical game required Aarts to be strong in net.
St. Marys got on the board first at 8:30 of the second period, with Grier Mahoney firing a perfect shot past the Tillsonburg goalie after a feed from Finn Wright. Tornadoes replied at 6:21 of the third, resulting in the two teams going to a three-player shootout.
Jonah Lariviere and Simon Greig scored for the Rock, while Trevor Aarts stood tall and only allowed one of the three Tillsonburg shooters to score.“The boys gutted that win out after being called upon to play at 8 a.m., and then a long break until 7 p.m.,” noted assistant coach/manager Tyler Dingman. “Not their best game, but they dug deep and figured out a way to get it done.”
Top ranked team
The teams were then ranked on their goals-for and goals-against records, and St. Marys (14-2 in pool play) finished first among the four remaining teams. The HBC squad advanced to play Durham again and blanked the Crusaders 4-0 in the semi-finals on the Sunday morning.
Goal scorers were Myles Clinton, Sam Johnson, Finn Wright and Andre Mollet. Cousineau was a big factor again in getting the shutout.
“Durham is a very good team, and we had them frustrated after both games,” coach Clinton said.
In the other semi-final, Ingersoll Express defeated Douro Dukes (from the Whitby area) 7-2.In the championship final Sunday afternoon, the St. Marys Peewees posted their fourth shutout win of the tournament, defeating rival Ingersoll 2-0. The Express had defeated the Rock in the final of the St. Marys tournament in October, and the HBC squad was looking for revenge.
Defenceman Simon Taylor fired the game winner on a powerplay, set up by Andre Mollet and Kaleb Dingman. Some hard work led to Myles Clinton scoring an empty-netter from Grier Mahoney. The shutout went to Aarts, who played one of his best games of the season.
“We had pretty balanced scoring all weekend,” coach Clinton added.