Two goals in a minute key in the Exeter Hawk's 6-5 win over the Dorchester
Dolphins in game one of the PJHL Yeck Division final
Friday, March 8, 2019
By Rob J. Ross
DORCHESTER - Two goals in 52 seconds proved a critical turning point.
Trailing 3-2 and being out shot, the Exeter Hawks' two strikes mid second period gave a shot of momentum, leading to a 5-4 win over the Dorchester Dolphins, in the opening game of the Provincial Junior Hockey League (PJHL) Yeck Division final.
The Dolphins may have out shot the Hawks, 41-36, but the visiting team put five pucks by goalie Liam McCarthy. That's one more than the Dolphins allowed in total during their previous series against the Thamesford Trojans.
"We need to come together and play a lot harder," Dolphins' forward and assistant captain Dylan Buckholz said. "We had a lack of defensive coverage. Hopefully we can be better in our zone tomorrow."
On both goals in that one minute span, the Hawks won battles in the corners, out-hustling the Dolphins to pucks and before McCarthy could get set, Derek Smith and Nick Sammons had the rubber disc behind him.
"We were bringing it all night and then we kind of let off the gas pedal. They kept going all night, so that's why (Hawks' won). They don't stop," said defenceman and assistant captain James Newland, who scored twice for the Dolphins. "In those situations, we have to calm down and just play our hockey."
Carter McLlwain put the Hawks up 5-3, with the eventual game winner, before Noah Lambe pulled the Dolphins back to within a goal.
"We got some momentum with those couple of goals. It was a tight game and both teams played real hard and we're fortunate to have come out on top," Hawks' head coach Ryan Shipley said. "It's a good start, but we have lots of work to do. They're a good team, so we can't get too carried away with this one. We have focus on tomorrow night and bring a good effort again."
After not allowing a power play goal throughout the entire series with Thamesford, the Dolphins surrendered one on Exeter's first man advantage opportunity. The home team also failed to score on six power play opportunities.
"I like our penalty kill. We did a nice job. It comes down to winning some battles and blocking shots and our guys did that," Shipley said. "We focus on playing good as a group and every line can generate some offence and play sound defensively and I thought we did a good job of that tonight."
Exeter led 1-0, on a Nick Overholt power play marker five minutes into game. Ryan Root and Newland scored within three minutes of each other for a 2-1 Dolphins' lead, after 20 minutes.
Liam Melady tied the affair for Exeter, before Newland scored his second goal of the game, restoring a Dolphins' lead, at 3-2.
Game two is Saturday in Exeter.
"Come firing, be hungry and be (angry) that we lost tonight and use that to our full advantage," said Newland, on how his team should approach game two.
Former Dolphin Caleb Pinsonneault picked up the win net, replacing starter Morgan Reed for the third period. Pinsonneault stopped seven of eight shots. Reed was hit in the mask area earlier in the game, but Shipley said replacing goalies was more of getting Pinsonneault some game time.
Hawk Jon Baker picked up one assist, to move into to tie with Lambeth's Ray Robbins, for the Yeck Division's playoff scoring lead. Bucholz sits third, with 15 points, on five goals and 10 assists.
The Dolphins won the season series with the Hawks, three games to two, including a 6-5 overtime victory at Exeter. That point could be looked upon as the difference in the final regular season standings, as the Dolphins (31-9-0-0) finished with 62 points, one more than the Hawks (29-8-0-3).