Back-stopped by Darren Hagerty, the St. Thomas Jr. Stars blank Orillia, 3-0,
to take a 4-0 lead in the OMHA minor peewee A six point final
Sunday, March 17, 2019
By Rob J. Ross
ST. THOMAS - Just two points separates the St. Thomas Jr. Stars from another OMHA championship.
A 3-0 win over the Orillia Terriers gives St. Thomas a four points to none lead, in the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) minor peewee single-A six point final, Sunday at the Joe.
"It was sloppy, but I heard a saying one time good teams find a way to win and we found a way to win," St. Thomas head coach Andrew Power said. "We weren't as sharp as (game one), but give credit to Orillia, they really came out and worked hard. They put a lot of pressure on us."
Scoreless after one period, Matthew Masschaele, from Ethan Silcox and an unassisted tally by Kurtis Grant, put the Stars up 2-0.
In the third, Mason Burns buried a rebound, after Liam Metzger took the initial shot.
Darren Hagerty stopped everything the Terriers fired at him in the St. Thomas net.
"They (Orillia) have solid goaltending and made some good saves on us. They really shut down some of our opportunities," added Power.
Games three and four are at Orillia next weekend. St. Thomas needs only a win or two ties to capture the title.
"It feels awesome, as a coach, as a parent, as part of the team. It's a great feeling but our job is not here. We go down to Orillia's barn and we'll have to go hard. We'll have to bring our best," said Power. "There are four new guys so all the guys are working to provide them something they have already gone through."
St. Thomas is now 14-2 during their playdown run, including eliminating Riverside, Essex, Grimsby and Burlington, to advance to the final.
The Jr. Stars are getting contributions from throughout the line-up, including their youngest player.
"When some kids are off, other kids are on. Everyone picks up pieces along the way," Power said. "Josh Doyle, a 2008 born, was an AP with us this year and he's playing lights out. He's playing at a different level."
The Jr. Stars are going for an OMHA three-peat, with the majority of the roster winning the OMHA atom A championship a year ago and the minor atom A title, in 2017.
"The constant thing is that we have zero parent problems," said Power. "We have zero kid problems and everybody buys in. The kids work hard at practice and it shows up in games. We have a very good camaraderie in the dressing room. We have a very good group."