Firefighter Peewees explode in third,
beat Rangers 7-2
sweeps best-of-three Shamrock playoff series 2-0
By Pat Payton
Five unanswered third-period goals powered the Firefighter ‘BB’ Peewees to a convincing 7-2 victory over the home-town Rangers Saturday afternoon in Belmont.
The win gave Dwain Smith’s squad the best-of-three Shamrock League quarter-final playoff series in two straight games.
The score was deadlocked 2-2 after two periods, and Belmont had out-shot St. Marys 18-13 to that point.
Firefighters exploded in the final 15 minutes to claim the win and the series. The visitors had 19 shots in the period, and finished with a 32-25 edge in shots. “We took over and totally dominated the third period,” reported Rock manager Marty Thomson.
Pacing the Firefighters’ offence were forwards Ty Wheeler and Jayden Tipping, who fired two goals apiece. The singles came off the sticks of captain Adam Turner, Evan Ballantyne and defenceman Trevor Richardson.
Cyler Pickering posted the net win.
Smith and company now advance to the SHL semi-finals.
McHugh scores twice in opener
In the series opener last Wednesday night at the PRC, the Firefighter Peewees out-shot the Rangers 30-10 en route to a 4-1 win.
“I think that was our goal tonight . . . to get (at least) 25 shots,” coach Dwain Smith said. “In some OMHA playoff games, we only had nine shots and that doesn’t get the job done.”
Winger Oliver McHugh sparked the Rock offence with a pair of goals, while the singles came off the sticks of Jayden Tipping and Evan Ballantyne.
Goals by McHugh and Tipping gave Firefighters a 2-0 lead late in the first period. Tipping’s goal came in the final minute of play as St. Marys held a wide territorial edge and an 8-2 advantage in shots.
After Belmont closed the gap to 2-1 with six minutes remaining in the second period, Ballantyne restored a two-goal lead for the Rock with just 27 seconds left in the frame. McHugh completed the scoring early in the third.
“I liked the way we started,” Smith said. “We came out of the gate strong. But once we got up 2-0, we let up. In the third, we re-grouped again and had lots of shots and chances.
“Playing the right way wins hockey games . . . and it’s fun.”
McHugh, Tipping, Evan Ballantyne and Colton Hawkins finished the night with two points apiece. Julian Walsh picked up the net win. His best saves came in the final 15 minutes.
The keys to beating the Rangers are: “Play our style, get shots on net, and eliminate turnovers,” coach Smith summed up.