By Pat Payton
Despite a great effort, the Finnbilt ‘BB’ Novices saw their OMHA playoff hopes come to an end with a 2-1 home- ice loss to Strathroy Jr. Rockets last Monday, Feb. 4.
To the Rock’s credit, every player left everything on the ice. It was a must-win situation for Todd Dittmer’s crew and they were less than eight minutes away from earning a hard-fought victory over a tough opponent and staying alive in the round-robin series.
After killing off a first-period penalty, Graeme Froud broke in and forced the Strathroy goalie to make a great save. Teammate Declan McCotter finally opened the scoring at 6:05 of the middle frame. After breaking down the right side, McCotter beat the Rockets’ goalie with a bullet to the top corner for his 57th of the season. Froud and Lilly Hartwick drew assists.
The nail-biting game continued early in the third with Finnbilt goalie Nolan Stewart making save after save to keep his team narrowly in front. The visitors finally tied it at the 7:50 mark on a powerplay, and then scored the winner with just 3:22 left on the clock.
“They gave it everything they had,” said coach Todd Dittmer, praising his team for a strong effort.
The loss left St. Marys with a 1-4 record in the round-robin series with Strathroy, Dorchester and Mt. Brydges. The Rock’s home game against Dorchester last Wednesday night was postponed due to inclement weather. It was re-scheduled for Monday of this week.