Lone SMMHA team to play in a final game in Local League tournament
By Pat Payton
The Stonetown Foodland Peewees were the lone St. Marys minor hockey team to medal as the SMMHA held its annual Local League tournament this past weekend at the PRC.
Nineteen teams, including four from the SMMHA, competed in the three-day, 37-game event. St. Marys entered teams in the Atom, Peewee and Midget divisions.
The Foodland Peewees were the only Rock team to play in a championship game Sunday. After going a perfect 3-0 in round-robin play, Jaden Ropp’s squad had just nine skaters for the final against New Hamburg and dropped a 5-1 decision to the Huskies.
The Huskies opened the scoring late in the first period, but the Rock answered quickly with a goal by Brier Frayne.
Goalie Reid Taylor played particularly well in the second period, keeping the score tied 1-1. Late in the period, New Hamburg regained the lead–directly off a face-off. The Huskies, with 14 skaters, tacked on three unanswered goals in the final 15 minutes.
“We ran out of gas in the third period,” coach Ropp said after his team accepted the silver medals.
The Foodland Peewees started the tournament with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over New Hamburg Saturday morning.
Reid Taylor played exceptionally well in the second period to keep the score deadlocked 0-0. After Taylor stopped a breakaway in the final minute of the period, Nate MacDonald scored in the first minute of the third to put St. Marys ahead to stay.
Justin Ropp added an insurance tally just over four minutes later. The Huskies exerted strong pressure for the rest of the game, but couldn’t get a puck past Taylor–even with a sixth attacker for the final 81 seconds.
In their second game Saturday afternoon, Brody Higham had a big outing in a 9-0 Foodland victory over Central Perth. Higham fired a double hat trick (six goals), while Brier Frayne added the other three. The shutout went to Taylor.
Exciting game between St. Marys teams
On Sunday morning, a big crowd watched an exciting game between the two St. Marys Peewee teams.
Brier Frayne’s second goal of the contest, with 2:48 remaining, snapped a 4-4 tie and the Foodland Peewees went on to post a 6-4 victory over the Bickell Built Homes Peewees.
Justin Ropp added an empty-netter with 18 seconds left for Foodland. Also scoring for the winning side were Ethan MacDonald, Brody Higham and Nate MacDonald. Scoring for the Bickell Peewees were Owen Maxwell, Danny Switzer, George Payne and Jordan Wiles.
The Bickell Built Homes Peewees started their weekend with a 2-1 victory over Central Perth Saturday morning. Scoring for St. Marys were George Payne and Owen Maxwell.
In their second start Saturday afternoon, the Bickell Peewees dropped a 3-2 decision to New Hamburg.
The St. Marys Buick GMC Midgets started the tournament with a 6-1 loss to Minto on Friday afternoon. The Midget Rock fell behind 3-1 by the end of two periods. Max Smith scored the lone goal for St. Marys, which played the game with just nine skaters.
The Buick GMC Midgets were officially eliminated from advancing after losing 10-0 to Erie Northshore Friday night and 8-0 to Paris Saturday afternoon. The Buick GMC Midgets played Mt. Brydges in a ‘friendly’ game Saturday night and lost 5-1 to the Cougars.
The Nicholson Concrete Atoms lost 11-0 to Mitchell in their opening game Friday afternoon. Rock goalie Gavin Lang was under siege the entire game as the Meteors applied constant pressure.
In their second game Saturday morning, the Nicholson Atoms skated to a 0-0 stalemate with Norwich–giving both teams a single point.
A 3-1 loss to Wingham Saturday afternoon left the Nicholson Atoms out of the playoff picture.
–Another well-run tournament under the guidance of convener Dale Switzer.
–Mitchell defeated Tavistock 3-2 in the Atom final, Mitchell edged Embro 3-2 in overtime in the Bantam final, and Erie Northshore nipped Minto 2-1 in the Midget final.
–In other minor hockey news, the ANAF ‘BB’ Bantams have been invited to the International Silver Stick tournament in Port Huron, Jan. 16-19. Dale Switzer’s team reached the semi-finals at a Regional Silver Stick tourney in the Niagara area recently. The invitation came after a couple of teams were unable to commit to the Port Huron event.
(See more photos on page 12)