Volume 12 Week 5

Tuesday, July 25


 

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(Posted 12:30 a.m., March 24)
Jr. Grads advance to Midget RepB finals
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Onlin\

The Cumberland Jr. Grads have made it through to the ODMHL Major Midget RepB finals after dispatching the Orleans Blues in decisive fashion Monday night, winning the fourth and deciding game 7-1 to take the first to four point series five points to three.

The series actually started way back on March 1. After tying the first two games, the two teams tried to settle things on March 9, but the game once again ended in a tie when the Blues managed to erase a 5-2 deficit in the third period.

Although Monday's game was scheduled to go three periods, extra ice time was booked just in case the game went into overtime. As things turned out, the extra time wasn't needed except to sort through a rash of penalties following a melee that brought the game to an early conclusion.

The Jr. Grads wasted little time getting on the scoreboard thanks to a goal by Mathieu Gignac who scored 47 seconds into the game on a play that Blues goalie Alex Haddad would have loved to had back.

Brian Upton would give the Jr. Grads a 2-0 lead just over four minutes later on a play that was set up by David Labelle.

Ben Harris' first goal of the evening would put Cumberland up 3-0 at the 10:04 mark of the second period. Harris took a pass in front of the net and then waited for Haddad to drop to his knees before firing a shot top shelf over the goalie's right shoulder.

The Jr. Grads extended their lead to 4-0 at the 7:48 mark of the second period when Labelle's point shot somehow got behind Haddad. As the puck sat in the crease, Keith Burns pounced on it and knocked it into the net.

The Blues finally got on the scoreboard early in the third period on a point shot that found the top of the net as Jr. Grads goalie Jeremy Chubbs was trying to see through the screen.

The goal only served to reignite the Jr. Grads who got three more goals from Harris, Burns and big Kyle Aaron to go up 7-1 before all hell broke loose. An altercation in the Cumberland crease between Chubbs and an overzealous Orleans player quickly degenerated into a near brawl. After sorting though the penalties, the referee decided to call the game with a little over a minute left on the clock, rather than risk the situation deteriorating any further.

Asked if he was surprised the Orleans Blues didn't offer up more of a challenge in the decisive game, Jr. Grads head coach Mike Highley said the result was indicative of the talent in the two dressing rooms.

"No not at all. We have a better team. We should have won in three straight, but we let them back in a couple of times," said Highley.

The only team remaining between the Jr. Grads and a championship banner is Ottawa West which knocked off the second seed Ottawa Sting and the top seed Stittsville Rams in route to the finals.

In their three regular season match-ups, the Jr. Grads won two games by a single goal. Ottawa West won the third game 6-1.

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

 

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