Series returns to St. Marys this weekend
By Pat Payton
NAPANEE – It appears the Firefighter ‘BB’ Peewees are facing an uphill battle in their provincial final.
Here Sunday afternoon, Dwain Smith’s squad dropped a 7-2 decision to the home-town Stars and now trail the best-of-five OMHA ‘BB’ championship series 2-0.
It’s the first time this season that the Peewee Rock has lost back-to-back games.
The next two games in the final are in St. Marys this coming weekend. Game 3 is Saturday at the PRC’s Blue Rink, starting at 6:45 p.m. If necessary, Game 4 is Sunday on the Rock Rink at 12 noon. Coach Smith is hoping the home-ice advantage will help swing the momentum back to his Firefighters.
In Game 2 last Sunday, Napanee’s two big snipers sparked the Stars’ attack with hat tricks. The home team jumped out to an early lead, and “we were in a hole right away,” Smith reported.
Captain Jimmy Schiedel and defenceman Rourke McEwan scored the St. Marys goals.
“Napanee has a strong team,” coach Smith said. “For the most part, our guys played well. In the third, I think we out-played them (holding an 8-5 edge in shots). We battled really hard in the third, and I was proud of the boys for not giving up. We did not give up.”
Napanee 4 – St. Marys 2
In the series opener Saturday night in Napanee, the Firefighter Peewees found out that Napanee has two “really good players” who played key roles in the Stars’ 4-2 victory.
“Napanee’s a really good team,” coach Smith reported. “They have two really good players, the best players we’ve seen all season. They cycle the puck and they can pull the trigger. They play every second shift.
“The Collingwood coach emailed me the other day and he warned me about these two, and he was right. He said they are the best 2005s (birthdays) that he’s ever seen. But we can’t change our game for them.”
Smith admitted that his team was a little “flat-footed” in Saturday’s opener.
“When you get flat-footed against a hard-skating team, you start taking penalties. I think we took seven minor penalties, and we’ve gone whole games this year without taking a penalty. We just have to take away their time and space.”
Scoring for St. Marys were defenceman Ethan Brine, with a “beautiful slap shot from the point,” and centre Jimmy Schiedel.
The Rock pulled goaltender Josh Ballantyne for an extra attacker late in the game, but couldn’t pull any closer. Coach Smith said Ballantyne played a strong game.
“He played very solid; he made a lot of stops,” he reported. “He was busy. It’s not too often that we get out-shot, maybe one or two games all season.”