After finishing the Men’s Roller Hockey League regular season on August 2 tied for first place, the New Blue and White Lightning met head on in quarter final playoff action Thursday, August 9 and again, it was tough to come up with a winner.
This time out the two played to a 4-4 tie in regulation time to force a five minute, sudden-death overtime period.
Just a little over one minute into the overtime Lightning’s Brandon Buma produced the deciding goal against Blue goaltender Will McIntire on a Rob Thurler feed.
The game was close in the early minutes with the Lightning taking a 1-0 lead with just 2:15 left in the first period on a Dave Summers goal set up by Tyler Brown and Brandon Buma.
The Lightning edge lasted until well into the second period when Steve Mattice stretched it to 2-0 with help from Tyler Gallinger.
As the minutes ticked away in the second period, Aron Sherrer put New Blue on the board to close the gap to 2-1.
The Lightning, however, charged right back with Summers counting his second goal of the game to end the second period with Lightning leading 3-1.
Minutes into the final frame, Steve Mattice pushed the Lightning lead to a comfortable 4-1.
But it wasn’t over yet as New Blue came charging back.
Randy Markell got it rolling with help from Garreth Cochrane and Aron Sherrer. Then it was Jamie McIntosh setting up Cochrane for the New Blue’s third counter.
With four minutes remaining on the clock Connor Hodgson, with help from McIntosh and Markell,struck to even it at 4-4.
In other action, the Morewood Monkeys and the Red Rockets met head on to stay in the running for this year’s league playoff championship and in the end the Monkeys prevailed with an 8-7 victory.
Again it was a close encounter as the Rockets built a 4-3 lead in the first period on a pair of goals from Chad McMillan and singles from David Patterson and Chris Phifer.
Answering for the Monkeys were Tyler Jones with a pair and Justin Heuff with a single.
The Monkeys evened it 4-4 in the second period with a Tyler Jones goal assisted by Mike Thompson.
The Rockets got it back when Chad McMillan counted his third goal but again they couldn’t hold on.
Jake Byers scored unassisted with just over two minutes left in the second period to even it, 5-5 and set the stage for an exciting final period.
Early in the third, the Monkeys pulled ahead 7-5 on goals by Mike Thompson and Heuff.
The Monkeys were able to protect their two goal advantage until late in the frame when Chris Phifer cut the gap to 7-6.
With 1:05 remaining on the clock, Mike Thompson pushed it out of reach with the Monkey’s eighth goal. The Rockets got one more against Monkey goaltender Kyle Shane in the 8-7 loss.
With their win against the New Blue, Lightning received a bye into the league’s championship final scheduled for Thursday, August 23. The New Blue advances to play the Morewood Monkeys in semi-final action this Thursday, August 16. The winner of this game advances to take on Lightning in the championship while the loser will play the Red Rockets for the consolation.
–With a good experience behind her at the 2013 Skate Ontario STARskate Championship held in the Fort Erie Leisureplex, March 23-24, local figure skater Ali VanHoof says she expects she will put together new free skate and interpretive programs to prepare for next year’s skating.
VanHoof was among the 12 top Ontario skaters who competed in the Silver Women Triathlon at the championship. She placed 10th overall.
She did not have skates that she was happy with in either the Skills or the Interpretive portion of her Triathlon, however, she did a very solid Freeskate for a third place finish in that category.
“Though Ali had a small bobble in her first program, the skills component, she fought back with a good interpretive program and a very solid Freeskate,” says coach Louise Dimmick.
“Just having earned the opportunity to represent Eastern Ontario at the Skate Ontario Starskate Championship was a great achievement,” adds Dimmick. “The experience Ali gained from this competition was invaluable, an excellent reward for all her hard work and motivation for the future.”
“I am very proud of her for all that she’s overcome and accomplished.”
What Ali overcame and accomplished was little more than she had expected late last summer when she started her training, and developing new programs with the goal of qualifying at EOSIC in the Triathlon event to go to the STARskate Championship.
All was on track until she injured her ankle at a competition in late September. The injury kept her off the ice for five weeks and limited what she could do for another three weeks when she returned.
“So her 4.5 month pre-competition preparation times was cut in half,” said Dimmick. “With only just over two months to get back into competition shape, we were faced with a daunting challenge.”
VanHoof met the challenge and her dedication and hard work paid off at the Eastern Ontario Sectional championship when she placed second overall to earn her spot at the STARskate Championship.
At EOSIC she was fourth after the Skills portion of the Triathlon with a personal best skate and then in the Interpretive, which is admittedly the weakest part of her Triathlon, she shattered her previous scoring to finish fifth and move into third place overall.
She then skated into Freeskate, her strongest event, for a first place finish and the resulting second place Ontario STARskate qualifying position.
“It was a hard road, but Alisha really demonstrated that hard work and perseverance do pay off,” said Dimmick after Ali’s EOSIC performance. “I am proud of what she has accomplished as a person and a skater.”
Ali says she will be back in the hunt for a spot at the STARskate championship in the upcoming 2013-14 season. She too admits the experience at the Ontario final was great and that, “I was a bit nervous.”
“It included the top three skaters from each region in Ontario, so I saw what kind of skaters are out there from the other regions.”
Ali says she will take a bit of a break from her skating over the summer and she expects she will work on some changes to her free and interpretive programs.
Her current Freeskate program includes five double jumps, two double double combinations, a double Lutz and a third jump combination, Axel and loop. She performs three spins, including a deathdrop flying spin and two combinations which include difficult variations.
B. McNairn-Leader Staff
MORRISBURG–The first weekend under new head coach, Mark Evans, and the Morrisburg Junior B Lions hung in for an overtime-shoot-out win against the Char-Lan Rebels here on Sunday afternoon.
Lions management announced late last week that they had made a coaching change that saw Evans move into the head coach position, replacing Dan Frawley. Also no longer behind the Lions bench is assistant coach Andrew Scott, who gave up his position due to work commitments.
That leaves Evans with the task of putting together a coaching team, which Lions General Manager Kevin Casselman says he is now busy doing.
“Clearly with only one win in 14 games, things weren’t happening,” explained Casselman of the coaching change. “We felt we needed a change of spirit, and it is easier to change one or two faces than it is to change 25. That’s the nature of the game, and we appreciate the time and commitment Dan put in.”
Casselman says that Sunday’s win was a dose of good medicine for the team. “While we have played well, we haven’t been able to get a win. So Sunday’s, win was very upbeat, very emotional for the boys. This year’s kids are staying positive. They know they have played well. It’s different when you have been blown out of every game, but we haven’t.”
Evans steps into the Lions head coach position with a solid resume. He originally came to the Cornwall area to play hockey with the Cornwall Royals under coach Orval Tessier. He played for three years, two as a defenceman before Tessier moved him to a forward position.
In 1991, he coached in the Seaway Valley Rapids Association at the Bantam Level. Then in 92-93 he became assistant coach of the Colts, that being the year they moved from Massena to Cornwall. He became the Colts head coach for the 1994-95 season and took them to the CJHL Championship and was voted the league’s Coach of the Year.
After a three year hiatus, he returned to the game, like many dads, to coach his sons in minor hockey. He became familiar to the Lions last year when son Eric was on the roster. This year both Eric and Curtis are Lions.
We put together two really good games on the weekend, says Casselman. Saturday, against Akwesasne, we gave up the third goal with just under three minutes left. It was anyone’s game.
The third goal for the Wolves broke a 2-2 tie and gave them a 3-2 win in their home barn, Saturday.
Hiio Herne opened the scoring for the Wolves late in the first period. The 1-0 lead lasted until 15:09 of the second period when Dallas Blacksmith got the Lions on board to even it.
Then just over three minutes later Christian Leger gave the Lions a 2-1 advantage.
Three minutes into the third period, Oakley Thomas put the puck past Lions goaltender John Gilmer to again even it up.
At 15:51 Sean David struck to give the Wolves the 3-2 win.
Sunday on Morrisburg ice, Brandon Chilton was in the Lions net for the 6-5 shoot out win.
The Lions led 1-0 after the first period and the game was tied 2-2 after two. It was a high flying third period that saw three goals traded to close the game tied at 5-5. Chilton and Boileau, in net for the Rebels, kept the overtime scoreless and set the stage for the shoot out.
Scoring for the Lions in regulation time were Dallas Blacksmith with two goals, and Taylor Eamon, Isaac Brownlee and Peter Ketcheson with singles. Assists went to Brandon Mullin, Ketcheson, Justin Lefevbre (2), Liam Morrow (2), Kieran Devine and Chris Pearson.
Coming up this weekend the Lions are at home, Saturday night November 23, against the Athens Aeros. Game time is 7:30 p.m.