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Dolphins rout to even series

 Dolphins rout Hawks to even series


   Shearer, Sawyer and Short each score twice in a 9-0 game two win 


  March 12, 2023


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By Rob J. Ross

DORCHESTER, Ont. - Nicholas Shearer was a shorthanded sniper while rookie Evan Sawyer announced his arrival.

Both the veteran and rookie scored twice, as the Dorchester Dolphins routed the Exeter Hawks, 9-0, to even the Provinciakl Junior Hockey League (PJHL) Yeck division quarterfinal at one game each.

Scoreless after 20 minutes, the Dolphins struck six times in the middle frame, highlighted with Shearer's back to back unassisted shorthanded goals.

Dolphins' captain Dylan Vandersleen opened the scoring four minutes into the period before Shearer worked his magic all in 60 seconds four minutes later.

First Shearer stripped the Hawks' defenceman of the puck 10 feet in front of the net, before depositing it behind a surprised goalie Tim Kerkhoff. A minute later, with his team down two men, Shearer intercepted a pass and broke the other way, making it 3-0.

"Normally it's one and I get lucky and hope for the best, but it worked out pretty good for me tonight," Shearer said. "The first one, I'm not sure why he was trying to deke in front of his net, but I'll advantage of it. The second one I made sure my stick was in the way."

Dorchester gained all the momentum, adding three more on the board in the period.

"The (second) shorthanded one really turned the momentum and got all of the fans in to it and that sparked us even more," said Shearer."

Sawyer had the final two goals of the game, the first two career junior playoff goals for the 16-year old from Parkhill who played minor midget hockey in St. Thomas last season.

"Being the young guy I wasn't playing much and then coach puts me out there in the last two minutes and I buried two goals. "It feels awesome with all the fans here and everything," said Sawyer, a six-foot four defenceman who came to Dorchester in a mid season trade with North Middlesex. "We played a very good game. I didn't expect us to get nine goals, but it feels great."

Matching his regular season goal total of two, Sawyer impressed Shearer.

"That was nice to see," said Shearer. "It really sparks the team when you see a guy step up with two goals in the game. You have your go to guys, but it motivates the team seeing others back back you up."

Josh Short with two goals, Jordan Daer and Tage Gallant, completed the scoring. Daer and Austin Connors had two assists each.

Goalie Deklan Jermol made 30 saves for his first career junior playoff shutout.

The Hawks took game one, 3-2, scoring a power play goal in the final minute of the third period Friday in Exeter. Short and Curtis Nogueira scored for the 'Phins.

"We played a lot better (game two), Sawyer said. "We knew what they were doing and shut them down and decided to play our game. We were on the puck a lot faster and just moved it a lot faster."

Game three is at Exeter Sunday. Game four back at Dorchester, Wednesday, March 15.

Shearer knows the Hawks will looking to avenge the 9-0 slapping.

"We came in to the room and knew they would be angry tomorrow, so we have to bring the same compete and play a full 60 minutes and cut down on our mistakes."

In the other Yeck quarterfinals, Port Stanley edged North Middlesex, 3-2, in overtime to even their series at a game each. Thamesford swept Lucan, with a 5-2 game four win. Mt Brydges leads Petrolia, two games to none, after a 4-1 win.





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