Rock quiets Caledonia Thunder 5-2 on Monday night at PRC
By Pat Payton
The Caledonia Thunder couldn’t contain the Schiedel line Monday night at the PRC.
The trio of centre Jimmy Schiedel, and wingers Owen and Ian Boyd combined for four goals and eight total points in a 5-2 Firefighter Peewees’ victory over the Thunder.
The win gave Dwain Smith’s squad a 1-0 lead in a best-of-five OMHA quarter-final playoff series.
Game 2 was Wednesday in Caledonia, with Game 3 back in St. Marys on Mon., Feb. 19 at 8:20 p.m. If necessary, Game 4 is Wednesday, Feb. 21 in Caledonia at 7 p.m.
Two skating teams
Monday’s series opener featured two teams that can both skate and move the puck.
The Thunder came out and pushed the pace and opened the scoring at 5:33 of the first period. However, the visitors’ lead was short-lived as Owen Boyd tied it just over a minute later.
At the 6:33 of the middle frame, Owen Boyd connected from the slot–putting the Firefighters ahead to stay. The prettiest goal of the night also proved to be the winner as captain Schiedel neatly set up Ian Boyd for a one-timer at 12:10.
Just 43 seconds later, Ryan Hodkinson slipped the puck between the legs of the Caledonia goalie to make it 4-1. The Thunder made a goaltending change following the goal.
Caledonia showed they weren’t throwing in the towel when they scored with 1:15 left in the period.
There was no further scoring until Schiedel found the empty Thunder net with just 34 seconds left in the third.
Schiedel finished the game with a goal and three assists, while the Boyd brothers each had two points. Josh Ballantyne picked up the net win.
“I think Caledonia has 145 goals this season and has only allowed 31, so we know they can score,” coach Smith said. “I think their defence might be a little weaker than Strathroy’s and hopefully we can take advantage of that.
“We were holding our sticks a little tight early in the game. Once we tied it up, we settled down and started playing our game.”
Smith noted that his defensive unit also played a strong game in Monday’s opener.
“We’ve been working on that in practice, don’t puck watch, follow the body,” he said. “I was very happy with our defence tonight; they were taking care of business.”
The series is far from over, the coach added. “We’re not taking anything for granted,” Smith said. “I think it’s going to be a good series.”
McEwan emerges hero
In Strathroy last Thursday night, Rourke McEwan emerged the hero for the Firefighter Peewees. The defenceman scored two goals in the last three minutes of the game to lift the Rock to a 3-2 victory over the Jr. Rockets.
The win gave St. Marys the best-of-five series in four games.
The teams were deadlocked 1-1 after two periods. Ryan Hodkinson scored the Firefighters’ goal.
After Strathroy took a 2-1 lead early in the third, McEwan tied it with just 2:06 to play. He then fired the winner with only 68 seconds left on the clock. Both goals were unassisted.
Other OMHA action
–The Dunny’s Source for Sports A-E Atoms went a perfect 6-0 in their OMHA round-robin playoff series. Sean Porter’s crew won their sixth straight game last Sunday in Petrolia, blasting the Oilers 15-0.
The Atom Rock now plays Strathroy Jr. Rockets in a best-of-five series. Game 2 is this Friday in Strathroy at 7:05 p.m.
–Dan Murrell’s Stonetown Foodland A-E Novices are currently involved in a six-team, 10-game round-robin. They defeated the Dragons 6-4 in Dorchester Sunday to improve their round-robin record to 3-2-2. They lost 6-1 to Mt. Brydges Cougars at home on Monday night.
–The Frayne Custom Cabinets A-E Bantams saw their OMHA playoffs come to an end Sunday in Dorchester after losing 2-1 to the Dragons. Brent Rae’s squad went 2-2 in their three-team, four-game round-robin series. The Rock swept Lambeth, but lost two one-goal decisions to Dorchester.