By Pat Payton
STRATHROY – The Dunny’s Source for Sports A-E Atoms took a commanding 2-0 lead in their best-of-five OMHA quarter-final playoff series with Strathroy Jr. Rockets here last Friday night.
A 2-1 victory left Sean Porter’s squad just one win from advancing to the provincial semi-finals. Game 3 was Wednesday, Feb. 21 in St. Marys. If necessary, Game 4 is this Friday, Feb. 23 in Strathroy, starting at 7:05 p.m.
In last Friday’s Game 2 at the Gemini complex, goals by defenceman Connor Hall and forward Connor Wheeler gave St. Marys another tight win. Wheeler’s tally broke a 1-1 tie in the third.
Trevor Aarts recorded the net win.
For the Atom Rock, it was their eighth straight win without a loss in their playoff march.
Greig clicks for hat trick
In the series opener Wednesday, Feb. 14, forward Simon Greig was the scoring star for the Dunny’s Atoms in a 3-2 victory over the Jr. Rockets.
Greig scored a goal in each period to spark his team to the home-ice win.
Greig fired the only goal of the first period, unassisted. Jr. Rockets moved ahead 2-1 midway through the second period, scoring goals less than two minutes apart. Greig tied it late in the period, with Connor Wheeler assisting.
Greig scored the game winner at 1:44 of the third, from Brody Higham and Myles Clinton.
The net win went to Isaac Cousineau.
Strathroy took three of the four minor penalties.
“I think it’s going to be a tight series,” Rock coach Sean Porter said after the opener. “They’re a hard-working team like us, and I don’t think there’s going to be any big blowouts in this series at all.
“Both teams are skating teams, and both teams can be physical. Whoever comes to play is the team that’s going to come out of this series, for sure.”
How do the Dunny’s Atoms have to play to be successful against the Jr. Rockets, Porter was asked.
“We just have to keep stressing our team game,” he replied. “We have to move the puck and work as a unit and we’ll be fine.”
Other OMHA playoff results
In another OMHA round-robin playoff game last Thursday night in Strathroy, Dan Murrell’s Stonetown Foodland A-E Novices defeated the Jr. Rockets 3-1. It was their fourth win in the five-team, round-robin series.