Search the site here:

Hawks bit Dolphins again in first round


Hawks OT win oust Dolphins


  Exeter takes series in game seven after trailing 3-1 



  March 11, 2024


  • action
  • action
  • action
  • action
  • action
  • action



By Rob J. Ross

DORCHESTER, Ont. - For a second year in a row the Exeter Hawks have swooped and stunned the Dorchester Dolphins in the opening round of the playoffs.

Carter Bowerman scored 13 minutes into overtime, to give the Hawks a 2-1 win in game seven of the Provincial Junior Hockey League (PJHL) Yeck Division quarterfinal Sunday at Dorchester.

Exeter trailed the series three games to one, before reeling off wins of 4-3, 3-0 and 2-1.

"Game five we were playing like a team that was comfortable and they were playing like a team that had their backs up against the wall. They came out and earned that win,"

Dolphins' head coach Chris Willsie said. "Game six we seemed ready to go, but we started off with a horrible first period and it went downhill from there."

In game seven, Andrew Gysbers gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead, before Paterson MacNair knotted the affair. The Hawks caught a break on the OT winner as a clearing attempt hit the refs' skate and Bowerman was in the right spot for his team.

"I thought tonight, especially the third period and overtime, our guys were giving it. Our guys are physically exhausted and emotionally exhausted and they left it all out on the ice," Willsie said. "

In game five, March 8 at Dorchester, the Hawks jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead on goals from Gysbers, Keagan Lavigne and Brett Harrogate.

Dorchester pushed back to tie with Liam Brulotte, Dylan Dundas and Tristan Gerth scoring.

But Chase Wedlake kept the Hawks alive in the series, scoring with just under five minutes to go in the third period.

Goalie Jack Dalrymple stopped all 34 shots, while Wedlake, Gysbers and Jayce Durand scored, as the Hawks tied the series on home ice March 9.

After scoring 15 goals in the first three games, the Dolphins only managed four goals over the next four games, three coming in game five.

"Once it goes on for a couple of games, maybe we started squeezing our sticks a little tighter, or we start trying to do too much instead of just keeping it simple," Willsie said on the sudden lack of scoring. "Mentally, you know when you haven't scored in a few games."

The Dolphins did have injuries, with Shearer missing games four and six and Jarrett Humphries game six.

"We had a couple other guys fighting through injuries but at this point everybody is," Willsie said. "(Exeter) seem to get the bounces that we couldn't get and they created their own luck by working hard. We were relaxed and comfortable."

Dorchester finished fourth during the regular season with a 26-9-4-1 record, 19 points ahead of the fifth place Hawks at 17-19-4-0.

"It was two evenly matched teams that were working hard and that's the result you get, game seven overtime, 2-1 final," Willsie said. "But we made playoffs and lost in the first round. Not a success."

A year ago, the Hawks eliminated the Dolphins in six games.

Dorchester last won the Yeck in 2017, the second of back to back titles. The Dolphins made the final in 2018, 2019 and 2022, but loss all three years.

MacNair led the Dolphins in playoff scoring with 10 points, on three goals and seven assists. Nicholas Shearer had four goals and four assists and Liam Brulotte, two goals and five assists.

This may be the Dolphins' last playoff series in the Yeck Division, as the PJHL plans to move the club east to the Doherty Division beginning next season.

Next round in the Yeck playoffs will see Exeter take on first place Thamesford, while Mt. Brydges collides with North Middlesex.





More images on Instagram - hometownplay



      © 2024