Oust South Kent in fifth and deciding game
By Pat Payton
It was quite the comeback by the ANAF ‘BB’ Bantams!
Trailing two games to none to South Kent Lightning in their best-of-five Shamrock Hockey League playoff series, Brandon Boyd’s squad roared back to win the next three games.
After losing the first two games 2-1 and 3-2, the Bantam Rock defeated South Kent 7-3 in St. Marys, 5-4 in Blenheim, and 3-1 in the fifth and deciding game in St. Marys.
It proved to be a physical series, and the comeback gave the ANAF crew a berth in the SHL’s ‘A’ Division final against Ilderton Jets. The opening game was Wednesday (Mar. 21) of this week at the PRC, with the next two games in Ilderton. If Games 4 and 5 are necessary, they are scheduled for Tuesday, Mar. 27 and Wednesday, Mar. 28 in St. Marys, both at 8:30 p.m.
South Kent series
The ANAF Bantams got their comeback started against South Kent with a penalty-filled 7-3 victory over the visiting Lightning on Mar. 8.
Leading the way for St. Marys was captain Nathan Reay. The centreman clicked for four goals as the Rock built period leads of 1-0 and 4-0. Jacob Boyd, Keegan Nethercott and Gage Barclay-Rowe added the single tallies.
The ANAF squad tied the series at two games apiece with a 5-4 win in Blenheim on Mar. 17.
Captain Reay fired the winner with just under four minutes to play, snapping a 4-4 tie. Ethan Aarts assisted.
The other St. Marys singles went to Keegan Nethercott, Mason Boonstra, Scott Standeaven and Jacob Boyd. The teams were tied 1-1 after the first period, and the Rock took a 4-3 edge into the final 15 minutes.
Both sides took six minor penalties.
In the deciding game the following night at the PRC, two powerplay goals in the last four minutes of the second period proved to the difference in a 3-1 ANAF ivictory.
Scott McClelland, Nathan Reay and Ben Turner scored the St. Marys goals.
The Lightning took eight of the 12 penalties handed out.
Getting Adam DeNeve back in the line-up for the final two games was a key to the series win, coach Boyd noted.
Four other teams in SHL finals
The Frayne Custom Cabinets A-E Bantams are playing Petrolia Oilers in their SHL ‘A’ Division final. Game 3 is Wednesday, Mar. 28 in St. Marys at 7 p.m.
The Cement ‘BB’ Midgets are playing North Middlesex Stars in the ‘C’ Division final. Game 2 is tonight (Mar. 22) at 8:15 p.m.
The Finnbilt ‘BB’ Novices are playing Ilderton Jets in the ‘C’ Division final.
In a previous SHL series against West Lorne, Ethan Henderson fired a pair of goals in a 4-2 St. Marys win over the visiting Comets on Mar. 18. Hayden Wright and Grayson Gerber had the singles, while Declan McCotter was the playmaker with three assists.
Also in the ‘C’ Division final, the Stonetown Foodland A-E Novices are playing Dorchester Dragons and Petrolia Oilers in a three-team, round-robin series.
In a game against visiting Dorchester on Monday, Mar. 19, Harper Murrell had a goal and assisted on two others by Parker Levy and Mack Hern in a 3-3 tie with the Dragons. The goals by Levy and Hern came in the final period.
Note: The Shamrock League all-star games are Sunday, Apr. 8 in St. Marys.