Second round, Upper Canada Minor Hockey League playoff action between the South Dundas Bantam B Rep Lions and the Char-Lan Rebels promised to be a ‘close encounter’, and in game one, indeed, that is just what it was.
The Lions and Rebels, who met three times during the regular season and collected 3-3 ties in each encounter, squared off in their first playoff game in Morrisburg on Sunday, and when it was over, the Lions were left clinging to a 1-0 victory.
After scoreless first and second periods, the Lions got on board 4:20 into the third period with a Spencer Heldens goal from a beautiful pass from Cameron Chayer.
Heldens beat Rebels goaltender Jasper Leroux on the glove side for what would turn out to be the winning goal.
The Lions came out roaring early in the first period of the game, to create three great scoring chances, but each stopped by Leroux in the Rebels net.
However, it wasn’t just a one man show. At the other end of the ice, Lions goaltender Zach Frawley was just as impressive. When the Lions defence tried to pinch at their own blue line and gave up a breakaway in the first period, it was the Big Z who stopped the Rebels’ attempt.
The second period featured great end to end action with scoring chances for both teams, but again it was Frawley and Leroux responsible for the scoreless results.
In fact, Frawley came up big for the Lions with just over 5:24 left in the third period when he made a huge glove save to keep the Rebels off the scoreboard and allow the Lions to hold onto their 1-0 lead.
The Lions traveled to Williamstown, Monday night for game two of the series where they were handed a 4-0 loss. Detailed results of the game were not available at press time.
Game three of the series returns to Morrisburg, this Thursday night at 8 p.m.
The South Dundas Bantam B Rep Lions finished the regular season in second place in the East Division, five points behind Cornwall. In their 24 game schedule, the Lions had 15 wins, two losses and seven ties. They scored 117 goals and gave up 41 and were assessed 418 minutes in penalties.
In their first playoff round series, they took on the North Dundas Demons and swept the four point series in two straight games.
The series opened in Morrisburg on February 13, with the Lions dominating play for a 7-0 win. Game two was played in Winchester, and again it was the Lions all the way with a 6-0 victory for a second consecutive shutout for Frawley.
Scoring for the Lions in game one were Evan Mullin and Randy Fawcett with two goals apiece. Singles were added by Andrew Jarvis, Drew Minish and Spencer Heldens.
After taking a 3-0 first period lead, the Lions were held from the scoreboard by the Demons throughout the second period. They worked their way to four goals in the third period for the 7-0 victory.
In Winchester, on February 20, the Lions again took charge early in the game to go up 3-0 in the first period. They added another three in the second for the 6-0 victory.
Evan Mullin produced another pair, while Andrew Jarvis, Spencer Heldens, Ben Michels and Josh Black added singles.