It was a tough series from start to finish as the South Dundas Bantam C House Lions used a pair of ties and one win to scrape out a victory over the South Stormont Selects in Upper Canada Minor Hockey league East Division play last week.
The four point series got rolling on Saturday, March 2, in Long Sault, where a late third period goal from Lion Ewen Baril tied the game 3-3 and sent each of the teams home with a single point.
Tyler Nelson gave the Lions a 1-0 first period lead, but the Selects charged back in the second to go up 2-1 on a pair of Griffin Martel counters, both assisted by Nolan Thompson.
With 4:12 left in the frame, Lion Tyler Rae found the mark to again balance the playing field.
The Martel-Nolan Thompson combination wouldn’t give up and midway into the third period, Martel completed his hat trick with Thompson adding his third consecutive assist.
The Selects lead held until Baril’s unassisted marker late in the frame.
Baril had a big game, assisting on the two earlier counters before hitting for the tying goal.
Peewee B affiliate goaltender, Wes Alexander was between the Lions pipes.
The Lions were back home for game two, and this time they took charge with a big three-goal first period in the 3-1 win.
Early into the first period, Tyler Nelson got it rolling with help from Matt Backes and Jane Van Moorsel.
Kody Arsenault, from Jonathan Mayhew, put the Lions up 2-0 less than a minute later and that was it until late in the frame when Teisha Mullin struck, unassisted, for a commanding 3-0 Lions lead.
It was late in the third period that goaltender Sam Waytowich had his shut out spoiled by the Selects Martel.
With the win, the Lions went into game three needing at least a tie to end the series and a tie was all they got.
The game kept the fans for both teams on the edge of their seats as a scoreless first period was followed by a scoreless second period.
Then began what would be a seesaw battle until Tyler Nelson’s unassisted tying goal in the last minute of the game.
The Lions struck first with Tyler Rae and Ewen Baril providing the setup on a Nick Woolley goal.
The Lions’ advantage held for several minutes until, with the clock showing 5:25 left in the game, Nolan Thompson beat Waytowich unassisted to even it.
Just over two minutes later Rae gave the Lions a 2-1 lead, this time with help from Mitchell Woodward and Woolley, but again the charged up Selects pushed ahead for the win to stay alive in the series.
This time it was Alex Winters getting the goal with 1:59 left on the clock.
That set the stage for Nelson’s tying marker, assisted by Baril, with 42 seconds left in the game.
The South Dundas Bantam C Lions now advance to play NGS in the East Division final series. The series will open in Maxville on March 17 at 12:30 p.m. and return to Morrisburg for game two, on Tuesday, March 19 at 8 p.m.
The West Division final will see Smiths Falls and Kemptville square off.
The winners of the two divisions will advance for the UCMHL championship series.