OMHA Playoffs, News (St. Marys Minor Hockey)

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OMHA Playoffs
Submitted By Rachael Torrance on Friday, January 31, 2020
Legion Midgets take series opener in Petrolia

Vernooy line sparks 6-3 win over Oilers Wednesday night   

By Pat Payton

The Royal Canadian Legion A-E Midgets made it four OMHA playoff wins in a row Wednesday night in Petrolia.

Aaron Vernooy fired a hat trick to pace Bob Davis’s squad to a 6-3 victory over the home-town Oilers in the first game of a best-of-five, second-round series. “That line just seemed to click,” said coach Davis, pointing to the trio of Vernooy, Jake Pfaff and Loghan Hodkinson.

After the teams were tied 2-2 at the end of the first period, the Rock out-scored the Oilers 3-1 in the middle frame and then tacked on another insurance marker in the third.

“We came out strong,” Davis continued. “We’ve been working on a few things in practices.

“The guys are working really hard in practice, and they’re learning the things that we’ve been working on in practice. And the guys are working well together, which is nice to see. We’re all on the same page.”

Nic Kiestra posted the net win. “Nic was good; he played exceptionally well in the third period,” coach Davis added.

Game 2 is Monday night at the PRC, starting at 8:30 p.m. Game 3 is back in Petrolia on Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 7 o’clock.

ANAF Bantams drop opener

The ANAF ‘BB’ Bantams opened their second-round OMHA playoff series at Mt. Brydges on Wednesday night, losing 4-1 to the Cougars.

After going the full five games with Strathroy, coach Dale Switzer admits that his team has to switch gears and adjust to a new playoff opponent.

“Mt. Brydges plays very physical; they’re a big, strong team,” Switzer said. “I think we’re a better skating team than them, but they were more aggressive on the puck and on the body. It’s a smaller rink in Mt. Brydges and they know how to take advantage of it. We were also down a couple of bodies and that didn’t help, either.

“You come off an emotional Game 5 and then go right into the next series, sometimes you don’t have the same jump in that first game. We were hoping for a little more, but we didn’t get it.”

Cougars built a 4-0 lead before winger Finn Stewart scored St. Marys’ lone goal with about three and a half minutes remaining to play.

“We weren’t putting the puck in the net on our powerplays. That was the biggest difference,” coach Switzer noted.

Game 2 in the best-of-five series is Saturday afternoon at the PRC, starting at 5:20 p.m. Game 3 is back in Mt. Brydges on Monday at 7:05 p.m.

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