A win and a loss during the opening weekend vs. Lindsay Muskies
By Stewart Grant
After sweeping their respective semi-final matchups, the St. Marys Firefighter Peewees and the Lindsay Muskies collided in St. Marys last weekend to begin their six-point OMHA final series. A good crowd was in attendance for both the Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon games to cheer on the teams.
Game 1 – St. Marys 5, Lindsay 4
The first two periods of Game 1 were defensively oriented with few opportunities for either side, however a couple of fine individual efforts by the visiting squad gave them a 3-1 lead when the zamboni came out following the second period. However, St. Marys head coach Dwain Smith had his boys come out flying in the third period. Griffin McGregor got things started on a 1-on-2 rush when his nifty wrist shot blew past the Lindsay goaltender. Just 87 seconds later, Ryan Hodkinson tied the game with his second goal of the evening. Lindsay quickly got one goal back and then Nate Schiedel tied things up at 4 when he scored from Griffin McGregor and Jayden Tipping. The winning goal came on a shot from the point by Owen Littlejohn. Carter Froggett got the win in goal for St. Marys, who outshot the Muskies 17-11.
Game 2 – Lindsay 2, St. Marys 0
In game two of the OMHA finals played on Sunday, the Lindsay Muskies tied the series 1-1 in a low-scoring affair. Rock goaltender Josh Ballantyne was particularly strong for the home side, stopping 18 of 19 shots fired his way. The Muskies opened the scoring in the first period on a dazzling play by Tyler Johnston (#91), who intercepted a pass near the Lindsay blueline and broke in alone, scoring on a nice backhand deke. Lindsay’s second goal came late in the third into an empty net. The Rock were unable to convert on several powerplays on this day, and although thirty shots were put onto the Lindsay net, most were from the perimeter and not high-quality scoring chances.
The Rock head to Lindsay this coming weekend for games 3 and 4, hoping for a pair of wins to clinch the series, or at least one victory to bring the series back to St. Marys with a chance to win on March 30th. “We’ve got to get back to our team play and distribute the puck better,” said Smith. “In game one we also did a good job forechecking and taking away Lindsay’s time and space. If we can get back to doing these things, I’m confident that we’ll do well in our upcoming games.”
The Firefighter Peewees are: Carter Froggett (#1), Joshua Ballantyne (#31), Adam Turner (#2), Nate Schiedel (#3), Owen Littlejohn (#4), captain Ryan Hodkinson (#5), Griffin McGregor (#6), assistant captain Brock Chessell (#7), Lucan Vernooy (#8), Austin DeBoer (#10), assistant captain Peyton Lobb (#11), Jayden Tipping (#12), Finn Stewart (#16), Colton Henderson (#18), Grayson Boreham (#20), and affiliate player Hayden Brintnell (#27). The coaching staff are head coach Dwain Smith, assistant coaches Rob McKnight and Steve Shaw, trainer/asst. coach Sam Thomson, and manager Marty Thomson.