It took three games, but the South Dundas Bantam B House Lions knocked off the Kemptville Panther 1s in Upper Canada Minor League playoff action last week to earn the right to advance to playoff round two against the Kemptville Panther 2 team.
The regular season division championship Panther 2 team made quick work of the North Dundas Demons in their opening round with 7-0 and 5-1 wins.
The Lions (4th place in the regular season), on the other hand, were up against some tough games against the Kemptville Panther 1s (5th place in the regular season).
The Lions scored the first two points of the four point series on home ice last Wednesday, February 17, with a 5-3 win, thanks to a two-goal comeback effort in the second period.
Then for game two they travelled to Kemptville where this time they were handed a 2-1 loss.
That set the stage for game three played in Morrisburg on Sunday afternoon, and again it was a close one with the Lions the winners by a 2-1 count.
Penalties did the talking in Sunday’s game, that and the outstanding goaltending from Michaela Mustard for the Lions and Matt Chalupka for the Panthers.
The Lions were first on the scoreboard Sunday, when Owen Orendi connected from Noah Keller on their power play at 6:46 of the first period.
Jayden Rowe made it 2-0, again on the Lions power play, with help from Jayden Shaver at 7:37 of the second period.
That was it until the final minutes of the second period when the Panthers got one back (on their power play) from Riley Keating to tighten it to 2-1.
The scoreless third period gave the Lions the win and the right to advance to playoff round two.
The Lions opened against the Panther 1s on home ice last Wednesday, February 17 with a hard fought 5-3 win which saw them fight back from a 3-1 deficit early in the second period.
Paige Gabriel had a big game pacing the Lions with a three goal effort that enabled them to recover and tie the game 3-3, late in the second period.
Gabriel put the Lions on the scoreboard early in the first period with help from Max Garlough.
That was it until the early minutes of the second period when the Panthers unleashed a ferocious attack to nab Mustard for three consecutive goals, 14 seconds in and again at 4:43 and 5:05 of the 15 minute period.
Riley Keating scored the first two, and Mark Gilpin finished it.
It was back to the Lions for the last five minutes of the period, with Gabriel completing her hat trick at 9:13 and 11:07, the first goal assisted by Aden Casselman and Garlough, and the second unassisted.
The Lions dominated the third period and came out the winners with two unanswered goals for the 5-3 victory.
Matthew Mackay got the winner, with Brady Smith providing the assist, and Smith scored the insurance goal from Justin Dagenais on the Lions power play.
Game two of the series was in Kemptville on Friday night, February 19, where the Panthers took advantage of their home ice for a 2-1 win.
The Lions were first on the scoreboard with a late first period goal from Jaeden Shaver assisted by Dagenais, but that was it.
The Panthers tied it in the second with a Chad Lackie goal and Mark Gilpin beat Mustard early in the third period for the winner.
Dates and times for the upcoming Lions versus Panther 2s series were not available at press time.