Special to The Standard
When the final buzzer sounds on Saturday, February 24th, at the Aurora Community Center, it will mark the end of an era for Lindsay Muskies defenseman Owen Barnett.
The Newmarket, Ont. native began his Jr. A hockey career as a call up with the Muskies, during the 2013/14 season, playing three games, and over the next four seasons his total would become 199 games for the franchise.
He recently told me his thoughts on initially joining the team, and his feelings at the time.
“After playing AAA for the Markham Waxer's for 3 years, I was AP'D to play for the Muskies, and really got a feel of the Junior A level. All the guys were friendly and welcomed me in the room. It felt like a team that I wanted to be a part of. The next year I made the jump, and signed as a Muskie during my grade 12 year. It was hard to juggle school and hockey, but, when you do what you love, you make the time”, he said recently via email.
Owen has steadily received a larger role on the team, as the years have gone past, to the point where he is currently an assistant Captain, something he takes a lot of pride in.
Muskie fans have become quite used to seeing #7 on the ice, in all kinds of situations, whether it be on the power play, killing penalties, or in key situations late in games, but there is an awful lot more to know and like about this young man off the ice as well.
Owen is very big in community involvement, both with the team and on his own. My first dealing with Owen off the ice was a very touching moment, while filming a promo for our 'Pink In The Rink' game, where we asked players to talk about how cancer had effected them in their lifetime. His time on camera was short, but personal and left a lasting impression with me. I also, over the years, have attended the Lindsay 'Jolly Jog' with him, and watched him fumble awkwardly with ladies wear, at the BOB FM Bras Around The Building campaign. He has also taken part in ball hockey events, at local schools and at the Boys and Girls Club.
What I didn’t know about Owen was his involvement away from the team with different organizations.
For instance, he spends a lot of time with the Minor Bantam Central Ontario Wolves, a team that is now coached by former Muskies Assistant Coach, Justin Wollacott.
“Owen has been a great help with our team”, says Woolacott. “Very dependable and great with the kids. The kids really look up to him and he provides a great example for them.”
Barnett also spends a lot of time at the National Training Rink, teaching kids the basic skills of hockey and offering encouragement to do their best.
Part of my responsibility, with the Muskies, is to gather information about players for the programs that we sell on game nights. When thinking about this article, I was remembering something that Owen had touched on a few years back. I could not find the information though, and had to reach out to Owen’s mother Debbie to help jog my memory.
“He is very good with kids”, writes Debbie Barnett. “He worked with the special needs kids during his high school years, and was a part of the Best Buddy program. They paired him with a special needs person who loved and played hockey. They would eat lunch together or go to each others games. Owen won an award in grade 12, the "Optimist Character Matters Award", for his compassion towards the special needs group in his classes”.
His Coaches were quick to respond with words of praise for Barnett, when I approached them for comments.
Current Muskies Assistant Coach, Jon Campbell said, “It has been my pleasure working with [him], and watching Barney grow as a player, becoming our assistant [coach], as well as a person. I have always looked forward [to] talking and interacting [with him] through the seasons. Barney has brought a calming presence on the back end, he is a player who I can depend on in any situation. I am going to miss talking and helping him develop his game”.
Justin Woolacott also added, “In regards to coaching, Barney, he was always [a] respectful and hardworking player that just loves the game. He always showed up to the rink with a positive mind set, and was a leader on and off the ice. I appreciate that I've had the opportunity to get to know him”.
Dan West, Lindsay Muskies current Head Coach, was also full of praise for the departing veteran.
“Reflecting back on Barney's time in Lindsay, I think of his team-first attitude, his growth as a leader on the ice, in the dressing room, in our community, and the cannon of a shot he has. Owen has one of the hardest shots in the league, many opponents, as well as teammates in practice, can attest to that. 'He is a player who can be depended upon in all situations', is a favourite of his teammates, for his willingness to battle and compete, and [he] is the first to volunteer his time at team events. His positive attitude and willingness to grow/learn, even as a last year player, have made him a pleasure to work with over the past 4 seasons. Watching Owen's growth and development as a person and a player have been very gratifying. His parents, Al and Debbie, are amazing people and I am sure they are proud of Owen in every way. They have done a fine job in raising a thoughtful, caring and hard working young man. On behalf of the entire organization and the community of Lindsay, I would like to thank Owen for his service, and wish him the very best in the future”.
Barnett himself, normally a man of very few words, had plenty to say, when reflecting back on his time as a Muskie.
“I have been fortunate to have many of the same coaching staff for the last 4 years, and I want to thank Dan West, Jon Campbell, Greg Seiler, Wayne Verge, and Rob Jenkins for mentoring me, teaching me new things, and guiding me along the way. Thank you, to Katelyn Lockwood, who always took care of my hockey injuries, and Harold and Mark, who are always there to take our care of our equipment, and to all the other staff that run the front door, especially Hilda a long time volunteer, who always has a welcoming smile or a hello for me. I have lived in Lindsay, with a billet family and I want to thank Jennifer Pearson, her son Steve and her family, for making me feel so welcomed and comfortable, like it's my second home. Without great coaches and a wonderful billet family, hockey would not be the same game to play”.
And no interview with a player would be complete without thanking the people who have probably had more to do with his success than anyone.
“My parents were my biggest supporters, attending almost every game over my many years of hockey, driving all over the place for games, and supporting me at all times, whether it was a good game or bad”.
It has been my pleasure, as well, to not only watch Owen play for all of these years, but also to get to know him and his parents. They will all be missed around the rink.
TARA FREW Special to the Standard
TYKE: Hunter Sports Photography won over Canadian Tire, 6-2. Bradley Cloutier (3), Aaron Smurthwaite, Trayson Jewellz and Liam Marrison were the goal scorers for Hunter Sports Photography. Canadian Tire’s goals came from Griffen Jones and Hudson Keeler.
Herrington’s Quality Butchers beat W.O. Insurance, 8-0. Jackson Powell (7) and Lucah Depooter scored for Herrington’s, while Nathan Fraser (2) and Jaden Reid assisted.
NOVICE: Unifor Local 1090 beat out J.F. Construction, 5-4. Unifor Local 1090 had goals from Cole Price (5) and Caitlyn Milford. Assisting were Milford (2), Karsen Page and Hayden Ratych. J.F. Construction’s goal scorers were Liam Shisko (2), Liam Bentley and Ethan Nicol.
Krown Rust Control took the win against Scugog House Cleaners, 5-0. Krown Rust Control’s goals came from Joel Morrow (2), Ethan Binns (2) and Delaney Cornelisse-Hall.
ATOM: Port Perry Dental Associates won over Buck’s Construx, 3-1. Port Perry Dental Associates had goals scored by Oliver Worona (2) and James Leith, with an assist from Tom Worona. Buck’s Construx solo goal came from Myles Prusinski.
Low & Low Funeral Directors took the win against Eco Water Systems, 5-2. Scoring for Low & Low Funeral Directors were Sully Vaughan (2), Ryan Vernon, William Pelton and Cohen Cabral. Assisting were Cabral, Jessi Stokes and Vaughan. Eco Water Systems goals were from Franklyn Sleep and Nolan Keith. Keith also made one assist.
PEEWEE / BANTAM:All Flags Auto Service took the win against Mondo Hair Salon, 3-2. All Flags Auto Service goals were by Lance Miller, Tyler Malarczuk and Dylan Grant. Scoring for Mondo Hair Salon were James Shier and Nathan Watson.
Goble Transport won over Cochrane Tree Service, 4-0. Bailey Wilson, Cole Casserly, Leah Seeney and Tyler Moore scored the Goble Transport goals. Assisting were Seeney and Logan Kveton-Roy.
MIDGET: The Comfort Shoppe beat out Rebecca McGarvey - Remax Jazz, 5-4. Corey VanCamp (3), Katie Brown and Benjamin Sargent scored. Assisting were Jake Buchanan (2) and VanCamp. Rebecca McGarvey – Remax Jazz had goals from Aidan Joyce (3) and Lane Horton, with an assist from Aidan Braband.
Urban Landscape Solutions won over Luchka Float Service, 7-5. Urban Landscape Solutions goals were from Chad Arney (3), Shannon Arney (2) and Sean Ashby (2). Assisting were Sean Ashby (3) and Jack Farrugia. Luchka Float Service’s goals came from Robbie Boadway (3) and Cael Williams (2).
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: The Port Perry MoJacks earned the right to play against the Uxbridge Bruins, in the Provincial Junior Hockey League’s Orr Division semifinals, by finishing a sweep of their first round series against the Georgina Ice.
The MoJacks defeated the Georgina Ice 5-2, on Tuesday, Feb. 13th, to win the series four-games-to-none.
The game was scoreless until the second period. Just 53 seconds into that period, Graham Lamers scored a power play goal, putting the MoJacks on top 1-0. Then, over three minutes in, Lamers again found the back of the net on the power play, extending Port Perry’s lead to 2-0. Georgina would later score, and the period ended with a 2-1 MoJack lead.
Over a minute into the third period, Mitch Gustavsen lit the lamp, restoring Port Perry’s two-goal lead. But, over a minute later, the Ice put the puck in the net, and again pulled within a goal of tying the game. Almost two minutes later though, on a MoJack power play, Kody Fruhner scored, and Port Perry led 4-2. Ian Elkins later added a goal, and the MoJacks finished the game with a 5-2 victory, finishing their best of seven series against Georgina.
The MoJacks will open the semifinal series, against Uxbridge on home ice, at Scugog Arena, on Wednesday, February 21st. Puck drop for that game is 7:25 p.m. Game two will take place at Uxbridge Arena, on Friday, February 23rd, at 7:45 p.m. Game 3 of the series will be held, on Sunday, February 25th, at 2:25 p.m., at Scugog Arena. The series will then shift back to Uxbridge Arena for Game 4, on Tuesday, February 27th. Puck drop for that game is 8:15 p.m. Game 5, if necessary, will be held at Scugog Arena, on Wednesday, February 28th, at 7:25 p.m. Game 6, if necessary, will be played on Friday, March 2nd, at Uxbridge Arena. Also if necessary, Game 7 is scheduled for Sunday, March 4th, at Scugog Arena.
Special to The Standard
KAWARTHA LAKES: When the Lindsay Jr. A Muskies regular season comes to an end, later this month, it will mark the end of the Jr. A line for forward Emerson Ducasse, as he will be aging out. While Ducasse has only played one season with the Muskies, and only one season total in the OJHL (Ontario Junior Hockey League), his road to get here has certainly been an interesting one.
The Toronto native tells me he played “A” hockey while growing up in Toronto. When he was 14 he made the move to “AA”, and at 15, when he was unable to crack the “AAA” line up in his own age group, he played Midget “AA”. Pretty standard story to that point.
Things got a little more interesting when he turned 16. He left home in Toronto to play prep school hockey, at Northwood School in Upstate New York. When he got there though he was unable to crack the line up of the top team, so he wound up playing for their development team that year. After that, he was headed to Chicago where he played prep school hockey for Lake Forest Academy, there he was able to make the top team and better showcase his skills.
I’ll let Emerson take it from here.
“Some scout saw me and thought my style of play would be perfect for Sweden, so I jumped at the opportunity and went overseas to play for Borås Hockey Club, outside of Gothenburg. Everything was free, team provided equipment from head to toe, gave me a huge 3 Bedroom 2 bathroom apartment, and drove me wherever I needed to go. We were on the ice twice a day, skills in the morning, systems at night, workouts between practices. I got to learn what it was like to be a professional hockey player, as the Junior team practiced with the pro team. I started out playing Division 1 Junior hockey, which is a very competitive level of Junior hockey, and actually got to play a couple games for the Pro team, which was awesome. They got like 5000 fans a game, and European fans are CRAZY. Erik Karlsson, Lars Eller and a couple other big time NHLers actually played for Borås HC, before they went to the NHL, so that was cool being apart of the same organization as them.
During the Christmas break I was traded to Grästorp Ice Klub, to play for their Junior Team. We ended up going 14-0 after I got there, and won everything, moving the team up to the Swedish Elit League for the next season, which is a very good league, lots of guys get drafted to the NHL from that league”, Ducasse told me, via email.
In the following summer Emerson was faced with a tough decision. Go back to Sweden for his last year of Junior hockey, or return to Canada with an eye on trying to land an NCAA scholarship. He chose to return to Canada and wound up with the Lindsay Muskies. It’s unknown yet whether that will pay off for him. He currently has an application in with Chatham University in Pittsburgh, (NCAA D3). He says there has been some interest from Ohio University, and that he has also applied to Western, and Queens.
When the season ends Ducasse plans to head back to Sweden to work in a marketing business with some former teammates from his time over there, then he plans a return to Toronto for the summer months before the next season of school and hockey begins.
Although his stay here in Lindsay has been a relatively short one he has had nothing but good things to say about the team, the town, and the fans.
“Certainly was an interesting season, don’t think any of us expected the results that we got. Coming out of it though, you have to take away the positives. Dan West has done a phenomenal job keeping the group motivated every single day, and reminding us that we play because we love the game, not because of the score. At times we pulled off huge wins, but then seemed to slip up for the next couple of games. Hockey is a game of many ups and downs, and with a season like the one we had this year; it really separates those who value the game, from those who just like to win. And that’s why we are all still here, competing every single night. The fans especially too, continued to come out and cheer us along every Friday night, which shows a lot on the character of not only the organization, but the town of Lindsay as well. I have to thank everyone involved in the organization, for allowing me with the opportunity to play Junior “A” hockey, and the loyal fans who had our backs all season long”.
There was one more thank that Emerson wanted to add, and that was to the billet family, the Jarvis’, who took him in for the first half of the season.
“Jennine and Mike and the whole family were amazing taking me in and making feel apart of the family. I really enjoyed my time there. And their kids Hunter, Devyn, Courtney, and Kamryn were so much fun to be around all the time. Again they’re a great family, miss them a lot, and I gotta thank them for everything they did for me. Thank you”.
Special to The Standard
KAWARTHA LAKES: On paper, the Newmarket Hurricanes and Lindsay Muskies are a long way apart, but somebody forgot Muskies goaltender Blake Curran, as he turned in a strong 54 save effort, in a game that Newmarket eventually did win by a score of 2-1, in double overtime.
Throughout the first two periods the game remained scoreless. Both goaltenders, Curran for the Muskies and Kristian Hufsky for the Hurricanes, were solid when they needed to be, but Curran was the far busier of the two, making 34 saves through the first and second period.
In the third period it did not take long for the Hurricanes to break the tie. Just 22 seconds in it was Alex Ierullo who finished a nice two on one down low, putting the puck through Curran’s legs. Owen Ramsey and Claudio De Gasperis picked up the assists. The Muskies kept on pressing though, and at 8:30, Noah Dollo took a nice drop pass from Joey Campbell to tie the game up at 1-1. The goal was Dollo’s, team leading, 18th of the year. Owen Barnett picked up the other assist.
Throughout the final moments of the game Curran was called on to make a number of big stops, to get the game to overtime and earn the Muskies at least a point.
The four on four overtime settled nothing, but at the 39 second mark of the three on three, Nicholas Cirone scored from Ramsay to earn the extra point for Newmarket.
The Lindsay Muskies grabbed three of four possible points over the weekend, as Noah Dollo scored a pair, to help lift the Lindsay Muskies over the Stouffville Spirit by a score of 5-3, Saturday night in Stouffville.
The night didn’t get off to a great start though, as Stouffville took the lead with the only goal of the first period. Anthony Stavrou scored it at 11:32, from Danial Bazarin.
Stouffville was coming off an 8-1 defeat Friday night, at the hands of Aurora, while the Muskies had lost a 2-1 double overtime game against Newmarket. After the Friday night match, some Muskies players had hoped their strong effort would carry over, and in the second period they started to get some results.
Noah Dollo, who has led the team in points for a good portion of the year, picked up his team leading 19th, and 20th goals in the second, to give the Muskies a 2-1 lead. Erich Roeder and Brendan Tomilson assisted on the first goal at 1:46, then at 17:42, Roeder and Joey Campbell helped set up the go ahead goal.
In the third period, Ben Sellar's 7th goal of the year gave Lindsay a 3-1 lead, at the 1:44 mark, when he picked up a short handed goal, assisted by Ethan Ramsden. Before the Muskies could get too comfortable though, the Spirit power play clicked at 2:14, when Beau Binnie scored from Ashton Reesor. Lindsay veteran defenseman, Owen Barnett restored the two goal cushion with his 6th of the year, at 4:41, when he scored from Jake Dale and Clay Coles. But, Binnie’s second of the period got Stouffville back into the game with a score of 4-3, from Reesor at 7:42. Tonight was the Muskies night though, as the Spirit was unable to get the equalizer past Blake Curran, who made 35 saves for the victory. Ethan Ramsden’s 3rd of the season, into an empty net from Emerson Ducasse and Noah Vandervinne, at 19:19, sealed the deal.
The Muskies now have some time to reflect on a successful weekend, while they prepare to host Cobourg on Friday night.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: The Port Perry MoJacks have taken a three-games-to-none stranglehold in their first round series against the Georgina Ice.
The MoJacks opened the series against the Ice at Scugog Arena, on Wednesday, February 7th.
Six minutes in, the Ice scored the first goal of the game, giving them a 1-0 lead. But, with less than three minutes remaining in the first period, on a MoJack power play, Graham Lamers sniped a shot past the Ice’s goaltender to tie the game 1-1.
Almost nine minutes into the second frame, Luke Wyatt scored, giving Port Perry a 2-1 lead. Shortly after, Mitch Gustavsen scored, giving Port Perry a two-goal cushion. With less than three minutes to go in the period, Jeff Gauld found a loose puck and put it in the back of the net, extending Port Perry’s lead to 4-1.
Less than a minute into the third frame, the Ice scored, cutting Port Perry’s lead to 4-2. But, Port Perry answered. Over five minutes in, Jordan McCullough received a great pass from Owen Hurtibese and scored. Lamers and Gustavsen each later scored their second goal of the game to give the MoJacks a 7-2 win.
The MoJacks continued to roll, during game two of the series, in Georgina on Friday, Feb. 9th, winning the game 10-3. Austin Mackie had a hat trick, and Gustavsen scored two goals in the MoJacks game two victory. Other MoJack goal scorers in the game were Brady Martin, Liam Schweda, Lamers, Gauld, and Kody Fruhner.
The MoJacks’ offense remained potent, when the series returned to Scugog Arena for game three, on Sunday, Feb. 11th.
Less than two and a half minutes in, Lamers scored the first goal of the game, giving Port Perry a 1-0 lead. Then, almost seven minutes in, on a MoJack power play, Mackie’s first shot was stopped, but the puck came back to him and he scored. About halfway through the period, Lamers finished off a beautiful passing play, between Gauld and Schweda, scoring his second goal of the game. The MoJacks had a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
Over two minutes into the second period, Lamers scored his hat trick goal. Then, over halfway through the period, Lamers lit the lamp again, and Port Perry had a 5-0 lead. With less than six and a half minutes remaining in the second frame, Brady Martin scored, and the MoJacks had a 6-0 lead after 40 minutes of play.
Just over three minutes into the third, the MoJacks’ Matt Doucette and Georgina’s Spencer Waters got into a fight in front of the MoJacks’ net. 37 seconds later, Lamers scored his fifth goal of the game, on a Port Perry power play. Then, over eight minutes in, Gustavsen lit the lamp. The MoJacks would strike four more times in the period, with goals from Martin, Hurtibese, Mackie and Josh Dickson, and won the game 12-0. Shawn Mabley made 21 saves for the shutout.
“[Mabley] was good and he made saves when he needed to make saves. We need him to continue to play like that as we continue to go on here,” MoJacks assistant coach Patrick Jobb said after the game.
MoJacks head coach Tom Boyle told The Standard that the difference in the series has been discipline.
“Our boys have been disciplined and [the Ice] haven’t. They’ve been taking penalties and we’ve been scoring goals [on the power play],” he said.
The MoJacks played game 4 of the series in Georgina, on Tuesday, February 13th, past The Standard’s press deadline.
TARA FREW Special to The Standard
TYKE: Herrington’s Quality Butchers beat out Canadian Tire, 14-0. Scoring for Herrington’s Quality Butchers were Jackson Powell (11), Nathan Fraser (2) and Jaden Reid. Assisting were Fraser (2), Lucah Depooter and Reid.
Hunter Sports Photography won against W.O. Insurance, 6-0. Hunter Sports Photography’s Bradley Cloutier (4), Liam Marrison and Blake Morden scored, with an assist from Aaron Smurthwaite.
NOVICE: Krown Rust Control beat out Unifor Local 1090, 6-0. Krown Rust Control had goals from Joel Morrow (3), Lyla Buchanan (2) and Ethan Binns. Binns also made one assist.
J.F. Construction won against Scugog House Cleaners, 8-3. J.F. Construction’s Samuel Baxter (3), Liam Shisko (3), Logan Edgerton and Charlie Langford scored, and Shisko made one assist. Scugog House Cleaners had goals from Carter Scott (2) and Ryan White.
ATOM: Low & Low Funeral Directors beat Bucks Construx, 13-0. Low & Low Funeral Directors goals were by Ryan Vernon (4), Jessi Stokes (3), Cohen Cabral (3), Logan Noakes Sully Vaughan and Jamie Stokes. Assisting were Vernon and Vaughan.
Port Perry Dental Associates took the win against Eco Water Systems, 3-2. Scoring for Port Perry Dental Associates were James Leith (2) and Oliver Worona, with an assist from Ethan Sneath. Eco Water System’s goals were from Nolan Keith (2).
PEEWEE / BANTAM: All Flags Auto Service earned the win over Cochrane Tree Service, 6-3. Tyler Malarczuk (3), Dylan Grant (2) and Brooklyn Pall scored for All Flags Auto Service, with Grant earning one assist as well. Lucas Braband (3) came up with a hat trick for Cochrane Tree Service.
Mondo Hair Salon and Goble Transport tied, 5-5. Mondo Hair Salon’s Nathan Watson (4) and Kaine Richardson scored. Goble Transport’s goal scorers were Cole Casserly (2), Tyler Moore, Adam Goble and Leah Seeney, with an assist from Goble.
MIDGET: The Comfort Shoppe won against Urban Landscape Solutions, 11-1. The Comfort Shoppe’s Cameron Barkey (4), Corey VanCamp (3), Jake Buchanan (2), Benjamin Sargent and Katie Brown scored with Sargent (2), Brown and Hannah Buchanan assisting. Urban Landscape Solution’s Mari McDowell scored the solo point.
Rebecca McGarvey – Remax Jazz beat out Luchka Float Service, 5-4. Rebecca McGarvey – Remax Jazz had goals from Aidan Braband (3) and Lane Horton (2), with Horton also making one assist. Robbie Boadway (2), Leam Maisonneuve and Cael Williams scored for Luchka Float Service. Jordan Jolicoeur made one assist.
Special to The Standard
UXBRIDGE: The Uxbridge Bruins clawed their way to back-to-back home ice wins over the Clarington Eagles, passing their rivals from East Durham for third place, in the Orr Division standings, and a playoff bye to the division’s semi-finals.
The final week of the regular season started a rare Tuesday night match at the Bear Den, a game that was postponed earlier in the month due to inclement weather.
The Bruins continued their strong play of late, posting their third consecutive victory, downing the Eagles 3-1.
After a scoreless opening period, Michael Rennie broke the deadlock, just over five minutes into the 2nd period, to give the Bruins a 1-0 advantage.
Just past the midpoint of the middle frame, Kyle Spataro netted the eventual game winner to put Uxbridge ahead 2-0.
The Eagles would finally beat Ryan McConkey early in the 3rd period, but he was sensational down the stretch, turning aside several quality chances for Clarington. A powerplay goal by Derek Dolan in the 3rd period sealed Uxbridge's 3-1 win.
The Bruins saved the best for last tonight at the Bear Den in their regular season finale vs the Clarington Eagles in a match to decide 3rd place in the Orr Division.
Over the course of a back-and-forth affair, the Bruins battled back throughout the night, rallying from a goal-down, twice, to force overtime before finally taking the lead, with just over two minutes left in overtime, on a blast by captain Adam Bartholomew.
Aiden Reilly and Cameron Moffitt also scored for Uxbridge, while McConkey turned aside 39 shots for his 16th win of the season.
Following Friday night’s game, Bruins Head Coach, Rob Acton praised the collective effort of his team during their recent run of success.
“This is a great group that’s determined to win and willing to sacrifice to achieve those common goals,” Acton explained.
As well, Acton credited the work of his father Keith, a former NHL player and Assistant Coach, who was officially added to the staff last week, for his guidance on both sides of the bench.
“He deserves a lot of credit. Having his influence on the bench is a huge part of our success. He’s been great with the players, as well as a calming influence for me at times. I’ve loved every minute of it.”
The Bruins picked up their final two points of the season, officially allowing them to pass the Eagles 54-52, after a Saturday night forfeit by the Little Britain Merchants. The team announced, earlier in the week, they would be suspending operations for the remainder of the season, using the opportunity to begin rebuilding for the 2018-19 campaign.
The Bruins were able to take the playoff bye, after the second-place Port Perry MoJacks opted to play the Georgina Ice in seven-game series.
In the other quarterfinal series, the Eagles will tangle with the fifth-place North Kawartha Knights. Both series got underway this week, and must be completed by Sunday, February 18th.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: The Port Perry MoJacks finished the regular season on a high note, on Sunday, February 4th, defeating the Georgina Ice 9-3
The game, held at Scugog Arena, offered those in the stands a preview of the first round of the playoffs, as Port Perry will face Georgina in round one.
A bit over five minutes into the first period, Ian Elkins scored, giving Port Perry the first lead of the game. Just over three minutes later, Derek Risebrough put the puck in the back of the net, to give Port Perry a two-goal lead.
Then, a little over two and a half minutes into the second frame, Bailey Nesbitt scored his first goal as a MoJack, in his first game with the team, stretching Port Perry’s lead to 3-0.
Almost seven and a half minutes in, the Ice scored, but, just over a minute after that, Austin Mackie restored the MoJacks’ three-goal lead. Over 13 minutes into the period, the Ice again found the back of the net, cutting Port Perry’s lead to 4-2. But, with just under four minutes left in the second period, Risebrough found himself on a breakaway and scored his second goal of the game. Before the period was finished, Graham Lamers received a great pass from Mitch Gustavsen and fired a shot past the Ice’s goaltender, and Port Perry had a 6-2 lead after 40 minutes of play.
Over six minutes into the third period, the Ice picked up a shorthanded goal, cutting Port Perry’s lead to 6-3. However, over a minute later, Gustavsen rifled a shot past the Ice’s goaltender. Port Perry got two power play goals late in the period, from Liam Schweda and Lamers, and won the game by a final score of 9-3.
Lamers’ power play goal was his 40th goal of the season.
The MoJacks finished the season in second place in the Orr division. They decided not to take a bye in the first round of the playoffs and instead will play Georgina in round 1.
MoJacks head coach Tom Boyle said the team decided to play in the first round so they could “stay sharp” throughout the playoffs.
“Last year we took the first round off, and myself and some of the players felt that we got out of our mojo, out of our rhythm. When you are a hockey player, you want to keep playing, so this year we decided we would not take the bye and would play in the first round, so we can just keep the ball rolling,” he said.
Boyle also said he is “feeling confident” Port Perry should win the series against Georgina.
The MoJacks will open their series against the Ice, on Wednesday, February 7th, at Scugog Arena. Puck drop is 8:20 p.m. Game two will be held in Georgina, on Friday, February 9th, at 7:30 p.m. The series will return to Scugog Arena, on Sunday, February 11th, at 2:25 p.m. Game 4 will be held in Georgina, on Tuesday, February 13th. Game 5, if necessary, will be, on Wednesday, February 14th, at Scugog Arena. Start times could change, so for the full playoff schedule, go online to ohaportperry.pointstreaksites.com/view/ohaportperry, or check out the Port Perry MoJacks on Twitter.
CRAIG SCHROTER Special to The Standard
KAWARTHA LAKES: The Lindsay Muskies scored first and last, but overall the Whitby Fury were just too much for them to handle, on Friday night, as they skated to a 7-2 victory.
Whitby thought they had the opening goal, just 13 seconds in, but the referee waved the goal off, as the next was off it’s moorings. The reprieve allowed the Muskies to grab an early lead, when Erich Roeder scored his 12th goal of the year from Noah Dollo, at the 6:42 mark. The Fury were able to turn the tide though, with a pair of goals just 19 seconds apart. Shane Bull scored his first of two on the night, at 12:57, then Matt Latin made it 2-1, at 13:16, with the assists going to Rory Milne and Ryan Bazzana.
Whitby led off the second period, with a goal at the 1:20 mark, when Greg Smith beat Muskies net minder Blake Curran, from Milne, and Shane Bull’s second of the game made it 4-1 at 9:04. At that point, it was apparent that the next goal would be huge. The Muskies pressed for it, but a long slap shot went into the Muskies goal, at 19:59, to make it 5-1 heading into the second intermission. That goal went to Noah Bull from Patrick Demaio.
In the third it was Maxim Clouser making his debut in front of the Muskie fans, but the Fury came right at him, as they had at Curran earlier. Jason Stachelbeck scored from Shane Bull, just 47 seconds in. Rory Milne made it 7-1, at 2:54, from Latin and Smith. Braydon Leeking rounded out the scoring for the Muskies, when his hard work in front of the net ended up with him shoveling the puck past Luke Pearson in the Whitby goal. The goal was Leeking’s 15th of the season. Roeder and Dollo picked up the assists on that goal, which came at 4:42.
After the game Head Coach didn’t have much to say, other than to praise the Whitby squad, who he said came at the Muskies hard, outworking them throughout the evening.