complete championship sweep to win Minor Midget RepB crown
By Fred Sherwin
Blues Minor Midget RepB team added the league championship to their regular
season title after downing the Gloucester Blackhawks 2-0 on Saturday to
complete their championship sweep.
to make the playoffs last year, the Blues were nothing short of dominating
during the regular season in racking up a 23-4-3 record to finish in first
place by 10 points. They're goals against average was a paltry 1.67, which
was a full goal a game better than their next rivals.
past the Kanata Blazers in the opening round of the playoffs 3-0 and 5-2,
they knocked off the Ottawa in two straight games 4-2 and 6-4 to earn a
berth in the finals against the Gloucester Blackhawks who are a great story
in their own right,
together a roster that included seven house league players and a bantam
aged call-up, the Blackhawks were wallowing in 10th place by mid-December.
They then went on a six game winning streak sparked by a 3-1 win over Casselman
on Dec. 10.
a pair of losses on Jan. 31 and Feb. 9, they wrapped up their regular season
schedule with four wins and a tie to finish in sixth place. They then knocked
off the third and second place teams in the first two rounds of the playoffs
to earn a berth in the finals.
the first game 5-1, they gutted out a 1-1 tie in Game 2 to extend the series
an extra game. Their lack of offence combined with the Blues stingy defence
would catch up to the Blackhawks, however, and Orleans would end up winning
the title on goals from Curtis Smith and Phillip David. Chirs Collins picked
up the shutout in net for the Blues.
Despite the loss,
Blackhawks head coach Jim Walker was justifiably proud of his team for making
it as far as they did.
the season started no one even expected us to make the playoffs. We had
seven guys come out to the first week of tryouts, but we went out and found
some boys and they managed to jell together as a team and they came a long
way," said Walker. "For a lot of these guys this is the only time
they'll get to play together."
Outside the Blues
dressing room, Orleans head coach Kevin Gallagher couldn't say enough about
his players commitment to defense.
no question our defensive play won us the championship. Once we got up two
goals, we just grinded it out and that's the way its been all year. These
guys just worked hard and stuck to the system. They were very easy to coach,"
said Gallagher who also credited the team's veteran leadership with keeping
everyone focused on the task at hand, especially team captain Justin Tourigny.
And the Blues
aren't finished yet. They'll play in the Tournament of Champions next weekend
and then they're scheduled to play in a season ending tournament in Pickering
during the Easter weekend.
Blues pose for a team picture after winning the ODMHL Minor Midget Rep B
championship on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo
a.m., March 29)
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