OMHA Playoffs, News (St. Marys Minor Hockey)

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Jan 27, 2020 | Rachael Torrance | 811 views
OMHA Playoffs
ANAF Bantams advance with 3-2 Game 5 victory

Firefighter Peewees sidelined in Game 6 Sunday in Dorchester  

By Pat Payton

Coach Dale Switzer thinks an early goal here Sunday was a big reason for the ANAF ‘BB’ Bantams’ 3-2 victory over the Jr. Rockets.

The huge win gave his team the best-of-five, opening-round OMHA playoff series three games to two. It was also the Rock’s second win on the road in the series.

“We played well tonight,” coach Switzer reported. “It was a good game; both teams played really well.”

Brock Chessell opened the scoring for St. Marys at the 1:26 mark of the first period. “Getting that first goal kind of settled everybody down,” the coach said. “Everybody plays more relaxed when you have the lead.”

It stayed that way until Owen Boyd put the visitors up 2-0 at 11:36 of the middle frame. However, Strathroy quickly tied it, connecting for two goals--just 24 seconds apart--before the end of the period.

Peyton Lobb--who had a strong series--broke the 2-2 deadlock with just 1:25 remaining in the third. “It took a strange bounce, went up in the air, hit the goalie and went in the net,” Switzer explained.

Jr. Rockets pulled their goalie for a sixth attacker, but the Rock held on in the final minute. The net win went to Kiefer MacNeil.

“The whole team played with intensity; we were skating and moving the puck,” Switzer added. “Even when Strathroy tied it with those two quick goals, we didn’t panic.”

In the five-game series, both teams scored 13 goals.

The ANAF Bantams will now meet Mt. Brydges Cougars, who eliminated Dorchester Dragons in their first-round series. The best-of-five series begins Wednesday (Jan. 29).

Firefighter Peewees sidelined in Game 6

In Dorchester Sunday, the Firefighter Peewees’ hopes of back-to-back OMHA ‘BB’ championships came to an end when they lost 2-1 to the Dragons in Game 6.

The win gave Dorchester the six-point series seven points to five. It was the first time in six games that the home team won. In addition to a tie, there were four one-goal decisions in the series.

After Dragons opened the scoring, Firefighters tied it 1-1 in the second period on a powerplay goal from the point by Grayson Boreham. Captain Adam Turner assisted. Dorchester went ahead to stay with a powerplay goal of its own early in the third.

With about three and a half minutes remaining, Dragons received a four-minute head-contact penalty. St. Marys also pulled its goalie with 1:32 left on the clock for a 6-on-4 man advantage. “We had six guys on the ice, but we couldn’t buy a goal,” assistant coach Steve Shaw reported.

“We had another slow start,” he added. “We weren’t getting pucks to the net early. We had a great second period, then we didn’t get a shot on net until the four-minute mark of the third. But we gave it a good go.”

It proved to be a hard-fought series between two evenly-matched Peewee teams. After six games, both teams had scored 14 goals.

Game 5 goes to overtime

In Game 5 last Thursday night at the PRC, Dorchester forced a sixth and deciding game with a 2-1 overtime victory over the Firefighters.

The Dragons’ win tied the six-point series at five points apiece. Had the score remained tied after 10 minutes of overtime, the single point would have been enough to give the Rock the series.

In a fast-paced affair, Dorchester came out taking the play to St. Marys. Scoring chances at both ends of the rink were difficult to generate as Dragons held a 3-1 shooting edge in the opening 10 minutes.

Firefighters opened the scoring at 4:45 of the middle frame when Jayden Tipping converted a pass from Hayden Brintnell. Defenceman Connor Hall also assisted. With three minutes left in the period, Dorchester tied the score 1-1 on a 2-on-1 break.

There were only two penalties called in the hard-fought contest, and both went to the Rock late in the third period.

In the ensuing overtime period, with the teams at even strength, Dragons stayed alive with the winning goal at the 2:30 mark.

Overall, Dorchester out-shot St. Marys 18-9. The Firefighters’ coaching staff was not happy with their team’s performance. “Nine shots . . . it’s pretty hard to generate goals,” assistant coach Steve Shaw said.

Looking ahead to Game 6, Shaw said Firefighters need a total team effort in order to be successful.

“We have to play hockey; we didn’t come to play hockey tonight,” he said. “We gave that one away. We had some boys out there trying, but others weren’t giving the effort.

“We need an effort by everybody on the team. We have to reduce the number of give-aways and also stay out of the penalty box. It’s hard to generate shots and any offence when you’re killing penalties,” Shaw added.