Novice B Lions win UCMHL playoff championship

With a hard fought, and well-earned 1-1 tie, Monday night here, the South Dundas Novice B Lions captured the Upper Canada Minor Hockey League playoff championships defeating the Brockville #1 Braves  five points to three. 

The two, evenly matched teams battled hard for four games and the difference in the series was the game two Lions’ 3-1 win on the road Friday night. 

The teams ended up  tying three of the four games, including Monday night’s series clinching fourth game in Brockville.

Going into game four, the Lions needed a win or tie to claim the title, meaning the pressure was on the Braves who absolutely needed a win.

The Braves scored early on Lions goaltender Brendan Shaver on a broken play when Garret Hough ended up with the puck and found the five hole on Shaver.

That would be Shaver’s only blemish on the night. 

Although the Lions dominated play the rest of the way and out-played the Braves, they were unable to beat their goalie, who like Shaver, had an outstanding series.

The Lions, however, didn’t give up and they continued to pressure for the tying goal which finally came on their power play late in the third period. 

Doing the Lions counting was Kayne McCadden who deflected a Ben Lapier shot into an open right side of the Brockville net to tie the game 1-1. 

With the tie, the  Lions then dug in to defend the surge the Braves mounted with their season now on the ropes. 

The clock, however, ticked to zero without a shot and the Lions skated away with the Upper Canada Minor Hockey League’s 2011/12 Novice B championship.

The championship series opened last Wednesday night, on Morrisburg ice and the Lions came out to play after coming off three series sweeps. 

The Lions built a 3-1 third period lead, but would be unable to hold on, as the Braves pressured and netted two goals in the last two minutes of the game to settle it in a 3-1 tie and a point apiece for each team.

 Ben Lapier, Nolan Henry and Joshua Broad scored the Lion’s goals with assists to Kayne McCadden, Owen Fetterly, Kolby Latulippe, Henry and Lapier. 

In game two on Braves ice Friday night, the Lions again buile a 3-1 lead, but this time they held on to go up three points to the Braves one in the five point series. 

Kayne McCadden scored early in the first from a pass from Owen Fetterly that would stand up until the third. 

In the third, Ben Lapier and Braves Garret Hough exchanged goals before Nolan Henry scored with three minutes left for the two goal lead. 

The Lions then killed the clock for what would be the only win in the series.

In game three, in front of a big crowd in Morrisburg on Saturday afternoon the Lions were looking for a win for the championship but again they would settle for a tie.

With the Braves playing their best game of the series and grabbing a first period 1-0 lead which they would hold onto late in the third, the Lions found themselves in a catch-up situation until the final minute of the game.

With the game clock ticking away, the Lions pulled Shaver in favour of an extra attacker to  press for the tying goal. 

After a huge scramble in front of the net with forwards, Nolan Henry, Joshua Broad, Kayne McCadden and Ben Lapier pressing, Nolan Henry finally got a shot past the Braves goalie for the tying goal. 

During the series the Braves forwards were held at bay rush after rush by the defence pairings of Spencer Barclay and Trent Rae and Cassidy Bilmer and Trent Rae. 

The Lions had a hugely successful season and for the playoffs put together an enviable undefeated record consisting of seven wins and three ties. 

They met up with and eliminated North Dundas, Kemptville #2, Brockville #2 to win the East Division Championship before defeating Brockville #1 for the overall league championship.

 

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