DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE:: The 44th season of Uxbridge Bruins junior hockey ended on Wednesday, March 4th at the Bear Den, with the Clarington Eagles winning Game 6 of the Provincial Junior Hockey League (PJHL) Orr Division semi-finals 3 to 2 in overtime. The Bruins had forced the sixth game in the series with a remarkable comeback in Game 5 and looked to carry some positive momentum over into Wednesday night’s matchup. After more than 15 minutes of thrilling back-and-forth action, the Bruins struck first, taking the lead on a Brendan Reid goal, assisted by Cole Bremner. However, the lead would not last through to the first intermission, as the Eagles quickly replied to tie the game 1 to 1. The second period saw several sensational saves by Bruins rookie goalie Cam Smith, as he worked hard to keep the Eagles offence grounded through the second period. The Bruins had tremendous penalty-killing throughout the middle frame, wiping out back-to-back-to-back-to-back penalties. Throughout the time Uxbridge spent down a skater, the team benefitted from outstanding penalty killing from Toby Cooper, Adam Turner, Bremner, Haiden Lambert, Daniel Wu and Daniel Giorgio. The third period opened with the Bruins on the power play, and Giorgio converted the opportunity less than a minute into the action, with assists to Cooper and Turner. As the third period wore on, there were quality scoring chances for both sides, and with less than eight minutes to play in regulation, the Eagles once again stormed back to tie the game. The Bruins had a fantastic chance to score with just under three minutes remaining, but a rolling puck foiled Giorgio’s attempt, sending the puck just wide of the net. The frantic final frenzy failed to produce a goal, and the teams headed to overtime. The large crowd at the Bear Den was buzzing throughout the extra frame, and just over four minutes into overtime, the Eagles scored on a rebound to book their ticket to the Cougar Cup Finals. In the final game of the season, the Bruins treated their fantastic fans to a spectacular effort, and the team offered a salute to the fans with their sticks held high before exiting the ice.