Oilers win 2-1 on last-minute goal, take OMHA playoff series
By Pat Payton
PETROLIA – It proved to be a very close series between two evenly-matched A-E teams.
It was also a heartbreaker for the Royal Canadian Legion Midgets in Game 5 of their OMHA playoff series here Saturday night. The home-town Oilers scored with just 40 seconds remaining to claim a 2-1 victory and take the six-point, second-round series seven points to three.
In the five hard-fought games, Petrolia out-scored St. Marys by a slim 13-11 margin.
The teams traded first-period goals, with the Rock’s Carter Reid tying the score 1-1. In the third period, the visitors did “everything but score” on a powerplay,” coach Bob Davis reported. “We had four or five glorious chances.”
The winning goal came in the final minute of the game after the Legion squad had exerted big pressure looking for the go-ahead tally. “We had them pinned in their end for a minute and a half,” Davis said.
“It was a good game, back and forth,” the coach continued. “We probably had the edge, but again couldn’t put it in the net. Both teams played really well.”
The Legion pulled goalie Nic Kiestra for an extra attacker, but couldn’t push the game into extra time.
“It’s too bad, we couldn’t have played any better than we did, but we couldn’t get the puck past their goalie,” Davis added. “I thought we would be coming back here (St. Marys) for Game 6.
“I was very proud of the boys for the way they carried themselves through the entire series.”
Late goal lifts Petrolia
In Game 4 last Thursday night at the PRC, a Petrolia goal with just under seven minutes to play snapped a 2-2 tie and it proved to be the winner in a 4-2 victory over the Legion Midgets.
For the Oilers, who added an empty-netter with exactly one minute left on the clock, it was their second win on St. Marys ice in the series.
The Rock had arguably the better scoring chances throughout the game, and probably deserved a better fate.
“Overall, I think we out-played them and deserved to win,” coach Davis said. “We just didn’t capitalize on our chances as well as Petrolia did. We just didn’t capitalize when we needed to, that was the bottom line.”
The Oilers opened the scoring midway through the first period, and went up 2-0 early in the second. The Legion squad dominated most of the middle frame and were rewarded when Carter Reid scored on a powerplay at the 10:03 mark. St. Marys carried the momentum into the third and Loghan Hodkinson quickly tied it 2-2 from the slot just 70 seconds into the period.
With 2:32 remaining, the Rock picked up a four-minute minor penalty. Shorthanded and trailing by a goal, the home team pulled Nic Kiestra to make it 5-on-5 when Petrolia clinched the win into the empty net.
Oilers tie it in final minute
In Game 3 last Wednesday night in Petrolia, The Oilers scored with just 48 seconds left in regulation time to pull out a 1-1 tie.
Ten minutes of overtime went scoreless, although the Cement men had several good chances during a powerplay in extra time. “Our powerplay worked really well, but we just couldn’t find the back of the net,” coach Davis reported.
The Rock opened the scoring midway through the second period on a goal by Maurice Kiestra. Hard work by Ben Richardson and Kirk Boreham set up the goal.
“It was probably the best game I saw them play all year; we played really well — beginning to end,” Davis said. “We got the puck out much better and had good offence. We played a solid game for four periods,” he added.
Going the distance in net was Nic Kiestra. “He made some unbelievable saves, spread throughout the game,” Davis noted. “He was on top of his game.”