Shamrock Playoffs, News (St. Marys Minor Hockey)

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Shamrock Playoffs
Submitted By Rachael Torrance on Thursday, March 5, 2020
Legion Midgets sidelined by Jr. Rockets

By Pat Payton

Back-to-back losses to the Strathroy Jr. Rockets recently sidelined the Royal Canadian Legion A-E Midgets from the Shamrock League playoffs.

The Jr. Rockets took the best-of-five semi-final series three games to one.

After a solid 4-3 home-ice win in Game 2, tying the series 1-1, the Legion squad managed just one goal in the final two games.

In the pivotal third game of the series Sunday, March 1 in Strathroy, the Rockets claimed a 3-0 victory.

“It was an excellent back and forth game,” Rock coach Bob Davis reported. “We continued our strong play, but were a little bit more hesitant going to the puck . . . more reactive than forcing the play.”

Strathroy scored three powerplay goals, two in the last five minutes of the contest.

“If not for the penalties we were right there,” Davis said. “Again, we had several excellent chances but couldn’t beat the Strathroy goalie. He was their main goalie. He actually stood on his head early in the third to keep the score 1-0. 

“We started well again, having several good chances in the first few minutes. A goal then would have made a huge difference. Nic Kiestra was superb in net for us.”

In Game 4 at the PRC on Monday, March 2, the Jr. Rockets won 3-1 to earn a spot in the league final.

“We were much more aggressive in forcing the play,” coach Davis noted. “Strathroy held the edge early this time, but we battled back. We scored a beautiful powerplay goal with excellent puck movement. Again, we had several chances that just didn’t make it to the back of the net.  “Strathroy came back with their main goalie. He was tested repeatedly, but we couldn’t beat him again.”

Nolan Shackleton played a “fantastic game,” making several key saves, Davis added.

“We pushed hard in the third pulling our goalie, but Strathroy was able to get the empty-net third goal.

“The kids played great hockey, and their work ethic and improvement since Christmas was amazing. They never gave up once,” he said.

In the SHL quarter-finals, the Legion Midgets played some of their best hockey of the season, sweeping the Dorchester Dragons three straight.

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