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Dolphins advance to Yeck final

 Dolphins brush aside those Trojans


   McCarthy and PK lead Dorchester to a seventh consecutive Yeck Division final

   completing a series sweep of Thamesford with a 4-2 win


   Tuesday, February 26, 2019


  • Dolphins - Trojans
  • Dolphins - Trojans
  • Dolphins - Trojans
  • Dolphins - Trojans
  • Dolphins - Trojans
  • Dolphins - Trojans


By Rob J. Ross 

THAMESFORD, ON. - When the penalty killing unit equals an opponent's entire goal production, the odds of winning a series are very high.

The Dorchester Dolphins will be making their seventh consecutive appearance in the Provincial Junior Hockey League Yeck Division final, thanks to their penalty kill (PK) and the goaltending of Liam McCarthy.

Dorchester finished a four game sweep of the Trojans with a 4-2 victory, highlighted by pair of goals by Ryan Root, one short-handed, one on the power play and 30 saves from their 17-year old netminder.


The Dolphins' penalty killers produced four goals, matching Thamesford's entire offence for the series, while not allowing the Trojans to score once in 23 power play opportunities.

"Great job by our penalty killers. No matter what they kept working, even killing a few penalties in a row and being tired," said McCarthy. "They did their jobs and kept the puck out in front of me and kept the shots from the outside. We have some really quick guys out there. When they get the opportunity they can fly."

Nolan Blewett had two of the four short-handed goals and Dylan Buckholz, one.

"No one in the league can catch Blewett and Bucky is same way," said Root. "We try to float the blue-line and catch them flat footed. Most of our forwards can out skate any team. Our speed definitely helps us."

McCarthy was the other reason the Dolphins had the brooms out for their semifinal series. The 17-year old blanked the Trojans in games one and three and stopped 166 of 170 shots faced in the series.

"McCarthy played awesome, just outstanding," Root said.  "We give pretty much 97 percent of the credit to that guy."

Throw in the game five win over Mt. Brydges in the first round and McCarthy owns a 1.20 goals-against average and .970 save percentage.

"Thamesford just loved to shoot. They threw everything at us," said McCarthy. "We just pushed them to the outside and kept the high quality chances down to a minimum and the guys made sure I could everything."

David Henshaw opened the scoring just 33 seconds into game four. Trojan Troy Vandenbussche tied the affair at the five minute mark. Root appeared on the case late in the period, first scoring on the power play, before potting his shorty two minutes later.

Cooper Brabook pulled the Trojans to within a goal in the second period.

The Dolphins' power play which chipped in with three goals for the series, added the insurance with Noah Small striking mid third period.

Buckholz assisted on every Dorchester goal. Root, Small and James Newland, also picked up assists.

"First final of my hockey," said McCarthy. "I was on some teams that were near the bottom of the pack."

Dorchester will host game one of the Yeck final, Friday, March 8th, against the winner of the Exeter – Lambeth series.

The toughest decision for Dolphin's head coach Mark Steele may be deciding who will be between the pipes, veteran Matt Waller or McCarthy. Waller was 3-1 against Mt. Brydges in the first round

"This is by far the best group of guys I've been a part of," said McCarthy, who took over in net because Waller was away on a vacation. "Waller played amazing in our first series. Whoever is in the net we have a great chance to win and the other guy not playing I know will be supportive of who is in net. Both of our (his and Waller's) goals is team success."

A team that features seven graduates (Root, Small, Buckholz, Henshaw, Ryan Poley, Austin Bisschop, Dylan Van Dusen) of Dorchester minor hockey.

"I really want to win it this year with all of the Dorchester guys," said Root, who is heading to his fourth Yeck final. "Our room is unbelievable. We have a really good bond. Having all these guys from Dorchester win would be awesome."