Now meet Owen Sound in Tri-County playoffs
By Pat Payton
It was a gritty effort by the Legion Minor Midgets last Sunday night at the PRC.
Due to injuries, illness and vacation, Owen Penney’s squad faced the Mooretown Jr. Flags with just 12 skaters in Game 6 of their best-of-seven OMHA ‘BB’ semi-final series. The Jr. Flags won the hard-fought game 4-2, and the series 4-2, and now advance to the provincial final against a team from the Niagara area.
The best team probably didn’t win the St. Marys-Mooretown series. The Legion Midgets had more speed and overall talent, but couldn’t get enough ‘puck luck’ to go in their favour. Mooretown defenceman Blake Howard was another big factor in the series, scoring several key goals for his team.
“I think that was the story of the series,” coach Penney said. “I felt we were the better team, but the bounces didn’t go our way. We couldn’t seem to finish on our scoring opportunities. We just couldn’t find a way to put the puck in the net. And I felt our mistakes hurt us a lot more than their mistakes hurt them.”
Penney added that he was “very proud” of his team’s effort with such a short line-up Sunday.
Mooretown 4 – St. Marys 2
At the PRC Sunday night, the Jr. Flags scored the winning goal with just 1:44 to play–snapping a 2-2 tie. The Legion Midgets pulled goalie Jake Bryans with 1:35 left, and had a couple of great chances–including one by captain Owen Hartman–to tie it.
Howard clinched the win for Mooretown with an empty-netter with 32 seconds remaining. It was his fourth point of the game.
Centre Blake Boreham got St. Marys off to a great start–scoring from Matt Payette just 13 seconds into the contest. However, the Jr. Flags answered with goals–just 78 seconds apart–before the five-minute mark of the first period.
Late in the opening frame, Boreham tied it 2-2 when he tipped home a perfect centring pass from Eric Taylor.
The Rock were the better team over the final two periods, but didn’t get rewarded for it. The home team applied strong pressure the entire second period, but couldn’t get a puck past Luc Thorne-Smith.
Bryans, meanwhile, played a strong game in the St. Marys net.
Mooretown 5 – St. Marys 3
In Mooretown Saturday, the Jr. Flags led 3-0 after the opening 15 minutes and 5-0 in the second period. The Legion Midgets attempted a late comeback, but dropped a 5-3 decision in the pivotal fifth game of the series.
“We got into penalty trouble early and made some defensive errors; we weren’t getting out of our zone,” Owen Penney reported. “All of a sudden we were down 5-0.
“But we were, by far, the better team in the second and third periods.”
Mooretown got a quick start with two powerplay goals early in the first period.
After scoring twice in the final frame to narrow the gap to 5-3, St. Marys finished the game on a five-minute powerplay. However, the visitors couldn’t pull any closer with the man advantage.
Blake Boreham, Curtis Topp and captain Owen Hartman scored the Legion goals. Both goalies–Alex Martens and Jake Bryans–saw action for the Rock.
Note: The Legion Minor Midgets will now play Owen Sound in Tri-County playoff action, beginning this week. “I’m looking forward to getting started,” coach Penney said.