Legion Midgets complete three-game
Win final two games of Dorchester series in overtime
By Pat Payton
The Royal Canadian Legion A-E Midgets completed a three-game sweep of their best-of-five Shamrock League quarter-final playoff series with Dorchester Dragons Thursday night at the PRC.
A goal by forward Carter Reid, with just 2:25 remaining in a 10-minute overtime period, lifted the home-town Rock to a hard-fought 3-2 victory over the Dragons.
The Rock played the game with just 10 skaters, as two players were with the Cement ‘BB’ Midgets in Caledonia, one was suspended and another was ill. Dorchester had 11 skaters in their line-up.
It was the second consecutive overtime win for St. Marys in the series. A goal by Maurice Kiestra, in extra time, gave the Legion a 5-4 victory in Game 2 on Feb. 17 in Dorchester. The Rock took the series opener, 2-0, on home ice the previous night.
“Dorchester beat us 2-1 in a really close game in the Aylmer tournament the first weekend of January, so we kind of had a score to settle,” Rock coach Bob Davis said.
“The last two games in the series were exciting. It showed how much heart this team has. They dug deep to prove they could play. I think they were still disappointed that we didn’t beat Petrolia (in the OMHA playoffs). They dug as deep as they could to prove that.”
In Game 3 Thursday, Dragons led 1-0 after the first period, but the teams were tied 2-2 going into the intermission break. After a scoreless third period, the desperate Dorchester team pushed for the winner ealy in overtime. The visitors bounced a puck off the post at the 5:09 mark.
Finally, just over two minutes later, Reid broke down the left side and snapped home a nice shot for the winner. Just prior to the game, Reid and teammate Aaron Vernooy arrived home from the OFSAA ski championships in Huntsville. At one point, the Rock thought they were going to play the game with just eight skaters.
Maurice Kiestra and Jake Pfaff scored for St. Marys in regulation time. Assists went to Pfaff, Reid, Vernooy and Ben Richardson. Nic Kiestra, who picked up the net win, made some key stops in the third.
The Rock had a four-minute powerplay late in regulation time, but couldn’t get the go-ahead goal.
Dramatic tying goal
In Game 2 of the series in Dorchester, the Legion Midgets trailed 4-3 late in the game, and pulled their goalie for an extra attacker.
After Dragons had a couple of chances to tie the series with an empty-net goal from the neutral zone, defenceman Jeremy Stephens tied the score with just 3.3 seconds left in regulation time after a rush down the left side. Carter Reid assisted. “It was a beautiful goal,” coach Davis noted.
Maurice Kiestra then won the game in overtime, his second goal of the night.
“In overtime, we found renewed vigor,” coach Davis said. “We never stopped. Maurice has been playing strong all through the playoffs.”
The Legion Midgets will now meet Strathroy Jr. Rockets in the SHL semi-finals. Rockets easily swept Mooretown 3-0 in the quarter-finals.