Frayne Bantams up 2-0 on Mooretown Jr. Flags; Game 3 Friday
By Pat Payton
STRATHROY – The Golf and Country Club ‘BB’ Atoms finished off their first-round, best-of-five OMHA playoff series with a 2-1 victory over the Jr. Rockets here last Tuesday night.
The win gave the Atom Rock the hard-fought series three games to one.
“It was a close game, but we weren’t flying like we were last Wednesday (on home ice),” coach Reg Clinton reported. “That was our best game of the series.”
In Strathroy last Tuesday, defenceman Owen Dittmer opened the scoring midway through the second period–connecting with a shot from the point on a powerplay. Myles Clinton assisted on Dittmer’s first goal of the season. After the Rockets tied it 1-1 early in the third, Sam Johnson fired the winner, unassisted, with 7:05 remaining. He rifled a nice shot just under the bar.
Clinton said goalie Julian Walsh was a big factor in the win. “Julian played really well,” he said. “He slammed the door on a couple of their 2-on-1 breaks.”
In the four games, St. Marys out-scored Strathroy 10-7. The G&CC Atoms will now play Dorchester in the next round of provincial playdowns. Dragons ousted Mt. Brydges in five games, winning the deciding game 3-2 Saturday in Dorchester.
The series opener is Wednesday, Jan. 30 at the PRC at 6 p.m.
Frayne Bantams up 2-0
The Frayne Custom Cabinets Bantams grabbed a commanding 2-0 series lead on Mooretown Jr. Flags with a 4-1 home-ice victory Sunday.
Owen Boyd and Ian Boyd both clicked for a goal and two assists to pace Dale Switzer’s crew to a 4-1 victory. Owen Boyd’s powerplay goal at 6:11 of the second period gave St. Marys a 2-0 lead and stood up as the winner. The other singles came off the sticks of Chase Carter and Zach Rooney (into an empty net). Lucas McCurdy also earned two assists.
Goalie Kiefer MacNeil lost his shutout bid with just over three minutes to play.
“We played a real good game today,” coach Switzer said. “We were skating. There’s bigger ice surface in St. Marys than Mooretown and that helps. It gives our guys room and we were moving the puck well. Today, we skated through their checking and that was the difference. We tell the kids, ‘you can’t hit what you can’t catch.’”
In the series opener Saturday in Mooretown, a late first-period goal by captain Jake Littlejohn stood up as the game winner in a 1-0 victory for the Frayne Bantams. Owen Boyd assisted.
The Rock had to kill off a couple of penalties in the last five minutes of the third to preserve their slim lead. Kiefer MacNeil and Jack Aarts shared the shutout.
“Mooretown was really trying to be physical; they were trying to knock us off the puck,” coach Switzer reported.
Game 3 is this Friday at the PRC at 6:45 p.m. If necessary, Game 4 is back in Mooretown Saturday at 3:45 p.m.
Finnbilt Novices now 1-3
The Finnbilt ‘BB’ Novices watched their playoff record slip to 1-3 with a pair of road losses last week.
On Friday night in Strathroy, the Novice Rock lost 6-3 to the home-town Jr. Rockets, who built period leads of 3-1 and 5-1.
Declan McCotter continued his hot scoring pace by scoring all three St. Marys goals. Assists went to Dan Dittmer, Ryder Blight, Will Jacobs, Graeme Froud and Zach Tubman.
Last Tuesday night in Mt. Brydges, the Finnbilt Novices dropped a 3-1 decision to the Cougars.
Declan McCotter gave the Rock a 1-0 lead late in the second period from Dan Dittmer and Zach Tubman. However, Cougars scored three unanswered in the third, with the winner and insurance goals coming with less than six minutes to play.
Dorchester is the other team in the four-team round-robin. The Dragons and Todd Dittmer’s Finnbilt squad played on Monday of this week in St. Marys.
Lots of hockey for Legion Midgets
The Legion Minor Midgets are going to be a busy team as Robb McIntosh’s squad will compete in both OMHA and Tri-County League playoffs.
St. Marys, Lincoln and Niagara-on-the-Lake are the only three Minor Midget ‘BB’ teams in the province. They will play each other twice in a round-robin OMHA playoff series, which has to be completed by Feb. 24.
After all three teams have played four games, the first-place team advances directly to the OMHA final. The second and third-place teams will then play a best-of-five semi-final series, with the winner earning a spot in the championship final.
The Legion Midgets’ first two games in the round-robin are on the road, Feb. 2 and Feb. 8. Their first home game is Sunday, Feb. 10 against Lincoln Blades at 7 p.m.