Minor Hockey Playoffs, News (St. Marys Minor Hockey)

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Minor Hockey Playoffs
Submitted By Rachael Torrance on Monday, March 9, 2020
Hubbard Midgets blank Aces 3-0, earn trip to Provincials

By Pat Payton


The stakes were high Sunday night at the PRC.

In front of a large crowd, the Hubbard Pharmacy Midget ‘B’ girls and Stratford Aces faced off in a showdown to determine which team would earn a spot in the year-end Provincials early next month in Toronto.

Bill McPhail’s Hubbard Midgets needed a win or a tie, while the Aces needed a win. St. Marys went into the game with four points, while Stratford had three. The Huron Heat were the other team involved in a three-team, round-robin OWHA playoff series. With just one win and two points, the Heat had already been eliminated.

With only one team qualifying, it came down to Sunday’s outcome and who would represent this region at the Provincials. The Hubbard squad left no doubt that they were the better team on this night as they skated to a well-deserved 3-0 victory over the Aces. They turned in a full, 32-minute effort.

“I’m pretty proud of the girls; they came and played hard,” coach McPhail told the Independent. “And Kayley (Thompson) did her thing and got us the shutout.”

Apply strong pressure

McPhail said the game plan was to apply strong pressure all over the ice.

“We wanted to be right on top of them and win all the races,” he said. “We wanted to be the hunter and not the hunted, and it worked. We got some good shots and rebound chances and buried them tonight.”

Three minutes into the second period, Vanessa Vernooy scored what proved to be the game winner from Emily Shrubsole. Julia Cameron cashed in a rebound at the 7:21 mark, making it 2-0. Assists went to Abbie Kennedy and Ally Muir.

Emma Bentley tacked on another insurance goal with 5:36 remaining in the third. Shrubsole and Meghan Keene picked up assists.

With a four-minute powerplay late in the game, Stratford coach Jeremy Brock twice pulled his goaltender for a 6-on-4 advantage. The Rock worked hard to preserve the shutout for Thompson and almost scored into the empty Aces’ net a couple of times.

McPhail said it “feels good” to be taking his team to the Provincials, Apr. 3-5.

“I’m happy for Kayley Thompson and Ally Muir,” he said. “They’re my two 17-year-olds and it’s their last year in Midget. Twelve of my girls are 15-year-olds and the other two are 16-year-olds. We hope to end it on a positive note.”

Win 2-1 in Stratford

In the first meeting between the two teams last Monday, March 2, the Hubbard Midgets defeated the Aces 2-1 in Stratford to improve their series record to 2-1.

Goals by Julia Cameron and Maddie Aarts--just 31 seconds apart early in the second period--staked St. Marys to a 2-0 lead. Aces scored their lone goal with six minutes remaining in the third.

Thompson posted the win in net. “It was a good, fast game; everybody came to play,” coach McPhail reported.

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