Drop 1-0 decision in a shootout to South Muskoka in Sunday’s final
By Pat Payton
BRACEBRIDGE – The Firefighter ‘BB’ Peewees were one shot from winning the annual Dan Bell Memorial hockey tournament here this past weekend.
However, Dwain Smith’s squad had to settle for tourney finalists after dropping a 1-0 decision in a shootout to the host South Muskoka Bears Sunday afternoon.
In the six-team tourney, Firefighters won their first four games in convincing fashion–out-scoring their opponents 26-6 in the process.
In their tourney opener Friday afternoon, the St. Marys Peewees jumped out to a 5-0 first-period lead and then cruised to a 7-1 victory over the Burford Coyotes.
Jared Ballatyne paced the Rock attack with two goals and two assists. Jayden Tipping and Oliver McHugh also scored twice, with Colton Henderson adding the single tally. Captain Adam Turner was the playmaker with three assists, while fellow defenceman Grayson Boreham helped set up two goals. Cyler Pickering notched the net win.
In their second outing Saturday morning, two second-period goals helped erase a 1-0 deficit and Firefighters went on to down the Sudbury Wolves 3-1.
Oliver McHugh and Adam Turner each had a goal and an assist to spark the Rock offence, with goalie Julian Walsh earning the net win. Defenceman Connor Hall fired the winner late in the second period, snapping a 1-1 tie. McHugh added a late third-period marker to clinch the victory.
Firefighters boosted their record to 3-0 Saturday afternoon with a 9-2 romp over the Muskrat Voyageurs from northern Ontario.
Centreman Colton Henderson led the charge with two goals and three assists for a five-point game. Jared Ballantyne also connected twice, while the singles came off the sticks of Adam Turner, Trevor Richardson, Connor Hall, Jayden Tipping and Colton Hawkins.
Turner also collected three assists, while Tipping, Hayden Brintnell, Evan Ballantyne and Grayson Boreham had two apiece. Pickering recorded the net win for St. Marys, which built period leads of 2-1 and 5-1.
Hat trick for McHugh
In their fourth and final round-robin game Sunday morning, Oliver McHugh and Colton Hawkins propelled the Firefighters’ attack in a 7-2 win over the Simcoe Warriors. McHugh clicked for three goals and two assists, while Hawkins had two goals and helped set up another.
The singles came off the sticks of Jayden Tipping and Jared Ballantyne, and Walsh picked up the win in net. The Rock led 2-1 after the first period and 3-1 going into the final 15 minutes.
Firefighters and South Muskoka had the best records after round-robin action and advanced directly to the championship game.
After 40 minutes of regulation time and five minutes of 3-on-3 overtime, the score was still deadlocked at 0-0. The shootout consisted of five shooters from both sides going one-on-one against the opposing goaltender. Bears won the shootout 3-2. Pickering went the distance in the Rock net.
“We’ve come a long way in the last two weeks,” remarked Firefighters’ manager Marty Thomson.
“The boys played good hockey all weekend,” coach Dwain Smith added. “We’ve gelled as a team, and they’re buying in to what we’re trying to sell them.
“We’re moving the puck so well. It was fun to watch. We feel we need 25 shots a game to be successful, and we’re hitting that mark. I hope we can build on this.”
Note: The Firefighters return to tournament action when they compete in the 64th annual Mitchell Peewee tournament, Nov. 8-10.