By Pat Payton
INGERSOLL – Two of the three goals came on powerplays as the Frayne Custom Cabinets A-E Bantams skated to a 3-0 victory over the Express here Sunday night.
The win gave Dale Switzer’s squad a 3-1 lead in points in the six-point OMHA semi-final playoff series.
After a scoreless first period, second-period goals by Ian Boyd (powerplay) and Owen Boyd kick-started the Rock offence. Nate Switzer added a powerplay tally early in the third to clinch it. RJ Masse assisted on two of three Rock goals. Goalie Jack Aarts earned the shutout.
“We played better, that’s for sure,” coach Switzer reported.
Game 3 is Wednesday of this week in St. Marys at 7:45 p.m., with Game 4 back in Ingersoll Thursday at 7 o’clock. If the series goes five games, it will be played Saturday at the PRC at 3:20 p.m.
Scoreless game in opener
In the series opener Saturday afternoon at the PRC, the teams skated to a 0-0 stalemate in a penalty-free game.
“I don’t know if our guys showed up for the whole game; maybe it was a little hangover from the last series,” coach Switzer said jokingly. “We got some scoring chances, but so did they. It was a pretty even game.”
Kiefer MacNeil posted the shutout for St. Marys, denying the Ingersoll team when called upon.
Switzer describes the Express as a “skating” team. “They’re similar to us; they come at you with all three lines.”
Bantams advance to semis
In Game 6 last Tuesday night (Feb. 26) in Mt. Brydges, two third-period powerplay goals lifted the Frayne Cabinets A-E Bantams to a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over the Cougars.
The win gave Switzer and company the six-point OMHA quarter-final playoff series seven points to five and a berth in the provincial semi-finals against Ingersoll. At one point in the Mt. Brydges series, St. Marys had a 4-0 lead.
Mt. Brydges opened the scoring late in the second period. However, the undisciplined Cougars got themselves in penalty trouble in the third, and the Rock made them pay. Ian Boyd tied it 1-1 at the 6:32 mark from Lucas McCurdy, and McCurdy fired the winner just 32 seconds after that from Ian Boyd and Owen Boyd.
“It was an interesting series,” coach Switzer told the Independent. “Every game we scored first we lost, and every game they scored first we either tied or won. It was back and forth, but Mt. Brydges controlled the scoring chances in the first two periods. Kiefer MacNeil had a real good game for us.”
Switzer tipped his hat to his two goaltenders, MacNeil and Jack Aarts, who both played well against the Cougars. “I would say goaltending was the difference in the series,” Switzer said. “Both of our goalies played better than theirs.”
In the six-game series, Mt. Brydges out-scored St. Marys 15-13.