Team will now compete in Shamrock League playoffs
By Pat Payton
CALEDONIA – After 16 OMHA playoff games, the end came for the Cement ‘BB’ Midgets here last Thursday night.
The home-town Thunder won 5-0 to claim the six-point provincial quarter-final series seven points to one.
Coach Brent Rae said the score wasn’t indicative of the game. It was 3-0 Caledonia going into the intermission break, but St. Marys hit two goal-posts in the second period. “That could have turned the game, but we weren’t getting the bounces,” he said. “I don’t think it was a 5-0 game by any means.”
Three of the Thunder’s goals came on powerplays.
Rae noted that six of his players played, but were ill. “We’ve dealt with adversity all year,” the coach said. “That’s what I told the boys, for what we had and what we did, I’m pretty proud of them.”
The Cement men used affiliate players Loghan Hodkinson and Kirk Boreham, call-ups from the Legion A-E Midgets.
Home-ice tie in Game 3
After losing 3-0 and 3-0 in the first two games of the series, the Cement Midgets tied the Thunder 1-1 on home ice Monday, Feb. 17. The result left Caledonia with a five points to one lead in the series.
Rock defenceman George Hensel’s goal with about a minute and a half remaining in regulation time tied the score and forced 10 minutes of scoreless overtime. The goal came with the Cement men holding a 5-on-4 man advantage. Coach Rae had pulled his goaltender for an extra attacker.
Caledonia had opened the scoring early in the first period on a 2-on-1 break.
“To be honest, I don’t think they’re that much better than us,” Rae said following Game 3 last Monday. “They have 13 third-year Midgets and they have a lot of veteran presence. They control the play a little more and they have a little more confidence than us.
“I don’t think it’s a tougher series than Strathroy or even Dorchester. It’s not as rough. They just control the puck well, and right now they’re shutting down the walls with their forecheck and we’ve had a tough time getting out of our own end.”
The Cement men used three affiliate players from the Legion Midgets–forwards Kirk Boreham and Loghan Hodkinson and defenceman Zach Rooney–in the Caledonia series.
The Cement Midgets also missed defenceman Sam Bolton, who was injured in the series opener. “It was nice getting the help,” Rae said. “But losing Sam really hurt us. We missed his patience back there (on defence).”
Note: The Cement Midgets will now compete in the Shamrock League playoffs, possibly starting in the semi-finals.