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Hawks lead Yeck final 3-1

 Hawks soar with commanding lead


   Exeter leads Dorchester three games to one in the PJHL Yeck Division final

Tuesday, March 12, 2019




By Rob J. Ross 

EXETER, ON. -  This would be a game the Dorchester Dolphins would likely want to forget.

Thanks to a 5-0 shutout, the Exeter Hawks have a commanding three games to one lead, in the Provincial Junior Hockey League (PJHL) Yeck Division final.

The Dolphins have made seven consecutive finals with a 3-3 record. If a fourth title is to be won, it would be the club's greatest playoff series comeback.


Exeter rebounded following a 7-1 loss in game three, at Dorchester.

"That's a big part of the playoffs. You have to turn the page frequently," Hawks' coach Ryan Shipley said. "It didn't go our way (game three), but in playoffs a loss is a loss. We just had to get back playing the way we need to play and being a little smarter. We did a nice job."

Jon Baker led the Hawks with a goal and two assists. Carter McLlwain, Liam Melady, Ian Vandenheuvel and Max Bannon completed the Hawks' scoring.

"You need a full team effort but you definitely need your veteran guys to contribute. We have five different goal scorers so I'm really happy with that," said Shipley. "Jon is one of the guys who definitely stepped it up tonight for us."

Hawks' goalie Morgan Reed wasn't busy as the Dolphins only managed 22 shots, 10 coming in a scoreless first period. The Hawks weren't that much better with the amount of shots, with 28, but scored on their chances and got a break on the opening goal. McLlwain's shot from the blue-line glanced enough off a Dolphins' defenceman's skate to fool goalie Matt Waller.

The second goal four minutes later, was a turnover right inside the Dolphins' blue-line, to the wrong guy, Baker, the playoff scoring leader.

After the fifth goal, on the Hawk's 26th shot, Liam McCarthy replaced Waller.

Exeter dominated on special teams, scoring twice on the power play, while keeping the Dolphins quiet on four man advantage opportunities.

"Step one is being more disciplined and staying out of the penalty box," said Shipley. "Our power play was still getting lots of chances the last couple games, so I was expecting we would eventually find a way to get a couple in to the net. Tonight we did a good job of finishing.

Dorchester's best chances came in the second period, when they hit a post and missed a tap-in on a two-on-one break.

The Hawks are a win away from their second Yeck Division title at the Junior C level, also winning in 2015.

"We have lots of work to do still," Shipley stressed. "It's been real tight games. It was only 2-0 into the third period. We can't take anything for granted. They're a good team, so we have to bring our best effort and hopefully close it out."

Game five is Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Dorchester. Game six if required, is back at Exeter, 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Dolphins were not in the mood to reflect on game four.

Dorchester will be without defencemen James Newland and Braidon Duncan for game five, due to suspensions from infractions tonight. Newland receives a game for removal of opponent's helmet, a  gross misconduct. Duncan will sit two games, for shooting the puck over the glass.