The South Dundas Atom B House 2 Lions ended their playoff run with a hard fought battle against the Brockville Braves on Saturday, March 3.
The two teams went into the fourth and final game of the series tied at three points apiece.
The Braves opened with a 4-3 win but the Lions battled back in game two for a 2-0 win to event the series at two point each.
Game three ended in a 1-1 tie, forcing the fourth game in Brockville on Saturday.
Saturday’s action was again a close affair, and once again ended in a 2-2 tie. That forced the game into overtime, after two period of scoreless sudden death it went to a shoot out.
The Braves prevailed in the shoot out scoring on two out of three opportunities, to eliminate the Lions.
Head coach David Lapier had asked his team to “leave it all on the ice”, and after the game, although disappointed with the shoot out loss, he said, “I’m proud of all the players and how well they played in the playoffs. It was a great team effort.”
The Lions, who finished second in regular season play, opened the four point series against the third place Braves at home on Sunday, February 26.
The Lions who had received a first round bye, came out flat in the opening game falling behind 3-2 in the third period.
They found inspiration in the spirited play of Sarah Backes who repeatedly out-battled the larger Brockville defenders deep in their own zone, but try as they might to mount a comeback, at the final buzzer the score was 4-3 in favour of the Braves.
Game 2 in Brockville, saw the Lions come out roaring to dominate play in the first period and maintain possession of the puck in the offensive zone for most of the period.
Right winger, Ty DeDekker picked up a loose puck in front of the net and slid it past the Braves keeper to make it 1-0.
Dean Lapier sent several thundering shots towards the Braves net from the blue line and Brady Smith blocked a clearing attempt with his skate and sent a hard shot on net where Kolby Hamilton converted the rebound.
Power forward Jack Collins played a solid two way game as the Lions held on for the 2-0 win and the only shutout of the series for Lions goaltender Olivia Salmon.
The series returned to Morrisburg for game three on Thursday, and in front of a large and supportive crowd the Lions strove to eliminate the Braves.
Colin Minish scored with a back-hander from the crease to put the Lions up 1-0.
Jayden Rowe repeatedly broke up the Braves attempted advance through the neutral zone, and Nathen Verhey blocked several shots as the Braves attempted to even the score.
The Lions valiantly defended their lead while Brockville had a 5 on 3 power play, only to have a screen shot slip in seconds after returning to full strength.
The game ended in a 1-1 tie, to force a fourth and deciding match in Brockville on Saturday, March 4.
Minish scored twice for the Lions, but again Brockville scored late in the third to tie the game 2-2 and force overtime.
The teams moved to a four on four format for five minutes of sudden death overtime, and although the Lions generated several scoring chances they couldn’t put the puck past the Braves goalkeeper.
A second sudden death period, this time with three skaters for each side was required.
Several back and forth rushes had the crowd roaring in approval. Brockville’s top goal scorer broke in alone but Dana Domanko used her speed to close the gap and then strip him of the puck as he entered the high slot.
Once again, the overtime would end without a goal.
It finally came to a shoot out to settle the game (and series) and with the first two Lions shooters unable to put the puck in the net, the Braves scored on two of three opportunities for the victory.