Eric Taylor scores late winner against Jr. Flags
By Pat Payton
The Royal Canadian Legion Minor Midgets have reduced their OMHA semi-final series to a best-of-five.
At the PRC last Sunday night, Owen Penney’s squad battled back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat Mooretown Jr. Flags 4-3. The Rock win squares the best-of-seven ‘BB’ series at one game apiece after the Jr. Flags took the series opener 3-1 on home ice.
The Jr. Flags get the extra home game, and Game 3 is Saturday, Feb. 10 in Mooretown, starting at 5:25 p.m. Game 4 is Sunday, Feb. 11 in St. Marys at 7 p.m.
Centreman Boreham scores twice
Last Sunday at the PRC, hustling centre Blake Boreham scored twice to spark the Legion Midgets’ comeback.
Mooretown opened the scoring at 4:59 of the first period, capitalizing on a St. Marys turnover. The Rock tied it 1-1 at 9:10 when the Jr. Flags coughed up the puck in their own zone and winger Matt Payette took advantage. Ben Martens assisted. The Jr. Flags regained the lead at the 12:58 mark.
The Legion squad had a full four-minute powerplay early in the middle frame, but were unable to tie it. The visitors went up 3-1 at the 9:44 mark, but it was the last time they’d get a puck past St. Marys goalie Alex Martens.
The comeback started just 30 seconds later when Boreham scored in close from Curtis Topp and defenceman Spencer Frayne.
Immediately following a Rock powerplay early in the third, Boreham tied it 3-3 from defenceman George Hensel. The home team spent the remainder of the period pushing for the go-ahead goal, and it finally came on a powerplay with just under four minutes to play.
With Mooretown serving its ninth minor penalty of the game, forward Eric Taylor won a foot race with the Jr. Flags’ goaltender and deposited the puck into a wide-open net. Hensel and Payette drew assists.
Mooretown pulled its goalie for an extra attacker with 1:31 remaining, but the Legion checkers successfully ran out the clock.
The Jr. Flags took nine of the 14 minor penalties. Both sides also picked up a 10-minute misconduct. It was a scrappy, chippy game, instigated mostly by the undisciplined play of the Mooretown team.
Defencemen Connor Aarts and Owen Hartman didn’t pick up a point, but both played strong games on the St. Marys blue line.
Coach pleased with comeback
Following the game, coach Penney said he was pleased that his team was able to rally for the win.
“We definitely didn’t want to go down 2-0,” he said. “Down a goal, we came out with a good third period and got things rolling after that goal early in the third.
“Once we realized we were the faster team, we pushed the tempo of the game to them.”
Penney noted that his Minor Midgets still have to win a game in the series on the smaller Mooretown ice surface.
“They have the advantage in their small rink; they seem to know how to play well in their arena,” he said. “We just have to come ready to play. It’s always a rough game down there.
“We just have to keep crashing the net and I think we can get a few lucky bounces out front.”