By Stewart Grant
The St. Marys Firefighter Peewee BB team built leads early in both games this past weekend, and in each game their resilient opponents from Pelham came back to tie the score. While the Rock ultimately prevailed on Saturday, Pelham evened the series on Sunday.
St. Marys 4, Pelham 3
St. Marys jumped out to 3-0 lead (on goals by Ryan Hodkinson, Ian Boyd, and Jaden Shiell) before the Panthers countered with three straight goals of their own. Late in the third period, Jaden Shiell finished a dominating shift at forward by firing a laser into the net from a near impossible angle for the game winning goal for St. Marys, giving the Rock a 4-2 edge in the 6-point series.
Pelham 3, St. Marys 2
Over 300 fans packed the Blue Rink at the Pyramid Recreation Centre as the Firefighter Peewees played for a birth in the OMHA Finals.
Ryan Hodkinson gave the Rock a first period lead when he darted past the Pelham defender and tucked a backhand through the goaltender’s legs. In the second period, Jimmy Schiedel converted from the slot with a power play goal on a pass from Ian Boyd from behind the goal line.
Goaltender Conner McLeod refused to let St. Marys add a third goal to put away the game, and his teammates were up to the task for the comeback. Riley Smith (#13) cut the lead in half, completing a great individual rush with a slick wraparound past Rock goalie Carter Froggett. Smith scored again in the second period after the Panthers alertly intercepted a Rock outlet pass, then he assisted on Pelham’s go-ahead goal early in the third period.
The fifth game of the series takes place this Saturday in Pelham at 1:00 p.m., with the winner advancing to the finals to play the Napanee Stars. Napanee defeated Collingwood by a decisive 7-1 margin in the other semi-final.