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(Posted 10:30 p.m., March 9)
Six east end teams through to OEMHL finals (and counting)
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The hockey season has been extended for at least six east end teams which have managed to make their way into the finals of the Ontario East Minor Hockey League playoffs.

No fewer than four Gloucester Rangers teams will be hoping to win a championship banner, two at the 'AA' level and two at the 'A' level, while the Cumberland Jr. Grads have two teams in the finals at the Major Atom AA and Major Midget AA levels.

Four other east end teams have made it through to the ODMHL RepB finals, where they will soon be joined by a fifth local team depending on the outcome of the Major Midget RepB semi-final between the Orleans Blues and the Cumberland Jr. Grads.

The Gloucester Rangers Major Atom 'A' team have made it through to the finals despite being the number five seed in their division. After squeaking past the Kanata Blazers in the maximum five games in the quarterfinals, the Rangers needed five games again to get past the Ottawa Silver Seven Black team in the semis who were the number one seed going into the playoffs.

After the first two games ended in a tie, the Silver Seven won game three 2-1 to take a four point to two lead in the first to five points series. The Rangers then bounced back to win game four 3-2 on a pair of goals by Blair Sharkey and and unassisted marker from Cole Timchuk.

In the fifth and final game, the Rangers were down 1-0 heading into the third period before Samuel Wilson and Alexandre Dionne scored back-to-back goals to give Gloucester the lead.

Heading into the final minute of play, a desperate Silver Seven team battled back to tie the score with 49 seconds left in the game. Just when it looked as if the game would be heading into overtime, Jesse Edmonds scored a dramatic series-winning goal with 16 seconds left on the clock on a pass from Cameron Badour.

The Rangers will be in tough against the second seed Nepean Raiders who finished well ahead of them in the regular season standings.

The Jr. Grads will be hoping to add the Major Atom AA championship banner to the regular season title they've already won when they open their final round series against the Ottawa Valley Titans on March 10.

The fourth seed Valley Titans upset the top seeded Kanata Blazers in the semi-finals, while the second seed Jr. Grads took care of business against the third seed Ottawa Sting.

The Jr. Grads have been led by Cole Carter who continues to score on a prolific pace. After registering 30 goals and 30 assists in 31 regular season games, he has four goals and four assists in eight playoff games so far. Jordan Pedlar leads the team in scoring with five goals.

Both Gloucester Ranger Minor Peewee teams have made the finals, starting with the Minor Peewee 'AA' squad which needed five games to knock the top-seeded Ottawa Valley Titans out of the playoffs.

After the Rangers downed the Titans 3-1 in Game 1 of the semifinals, the two teams tied Game 2 and 3. In Game 4, the Titans came back from an early 1-0 deficit to win 2-1 and tie the first to five point series.

In the fifth and deciding game, Rangers goalie Cedric Hansen posted a goose egg in net, while Mathieu Foget and Junau St-Germain supplied all the offence they would need as the fourth seeded team took the series six points to four.

The Rangers will open the final round against the second seeded Kanata Blazers on Friday, June 107at the Bell Sensplex.

The Minor Peewee 'A' Rangers are still waiting for a winner to emerge from the semifinal between the Ottawa Silver Seven White team and the Ottawa Sting. The series is tied at four points apiece with Game 5 slated for Tuesday, May 30.

The Rangers are coming off a three game sweep against the Cumberland Jr. Grads in which they outscored their east end rivals 11-2. The Rangers got goals from Jeremy Barrie, Andrew Burke and Antonio Mucucci in Game 1 of the series, while Jacob Yeomans posted a shutout.

Games 2 and 3 both ended in identical 4-1 scores. Tristan Picketts scored twice in Game 2, while Charles Roberge and Art Rambo each added singles. In Game 3, Roberge, Burke and Barrie all scored along with Justin Shimizu.

The fourth Gloucester Rangers team hoping to win a championship banner is the Minor Midget AA squad, which opens up their final round series against the Rideau-St. Lawrence Kings tonight in Prescott.

The third seed Rangers made short work of the second seed Nepean Raiders in the semifinals, taking the series in three straight games. After the first game ended in a 2-2 tie, the Rangers won Game 2 by a score of 3-1 on a pair of goals from Kevin Fraser and single marker by Matthew Shaheen.

Things looked promising for the Raiders in Game 3 after they jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead, but five straight goals by the Rangers would put the contest out of reach. Ryan Nugent and Jesse Brown had two goals each in the 7-4 win, while Louis Nadeau, Scott McIlroy and Simon Berthelotte added singles.

The Cumberland Jr. Grads Major Midget 'AA' team has also made it through to the finals where they will face either the Nepean Raiders or the Eastern Ontario Cobras. The two teams are currently tied at three points apiece in their semifinal which will resume on Wednesday.

In RepB action, no fewer than three Gloucester Blackhawks teams have advanced to the finals starting with the sixth seed Minor Midget squad which which will take on the top seed Orleans Blues.

The Minor Atom Rep B team is awaiting the winner of the West Division final between Kanata White and the Stittsville Red, after they knocked off the Eastern Ontario Cobras in two straight games to claim the East Division final on Sunday. At the RepB level, all series are first-to-four-point affairs.

The Blackhawks entered the playoffs on a sour note after the Jr. Grads spoiled their bid for a perfect season with a 4-3 win in their final regular season game.

While the loss may have devastated most other eight- and nine-year-olds, it only served to refocus the Blackhawks on the task at hand as they've managed to pull off four straight wins in the playoffs while outscoring their opponents 23-4 in the process.

The Blackhawks Minor Bantam Rep B team has also managed to make it through to the finals after downing the Nepean Raiders Red squad 4-2 Monday night to win their first to four point semifinal four points to two.

The second seed Blackhawks will take on the winner of the other semifinal between the top seed Nepean White team and the fifth seed Stittsville.

The fourth area team that will make it through to the RepB finals will either be the Cumberland Jr. Grads Major Midget squad or the Orleans Blues. The two teams are tied at three points apiece in the semifinals after tying in each of their first three games including a 5-5 draw at the Ray Friel Centre on Monday night. The fourth and deciding game has yet to be scheduled.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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