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Austin Maggiacomo takes an off-balance shot on the Bandits net at the Trisan Centre on Sunday. The Red Wings fell 3 - 2 and need a tie to win the OMHA Championship.
By Jake Courtepatte
The Juvenile Schomberg Red Wings have been close to tasting OMHA gold for over a week, but so far it's only left a sour taste in their mouth.
An early two-games-to-none series lead in the championship has dwindled away over the past week, as the Beverley Bandits have crawled back to make things interesting.
Two opportunities to close out the series have come up short as a tie in Game 3 and a loss in Game 4 has resulted in a race to the magic series-clinching number of six points.
Both games took place over last weekend, as the Wings hit the road Saturday with momentum on their side and hockey glory on their minds.
The game ended in a teasing 2-2 tie, leaving Schomberg just one point shy of clinching the series. It opened up a glorious opportunity to win in front of a home crowd the following day, who packed the Trisan Centre and to the average spectator, were raucous enough to make it look like a junior game.
After exchanging a few minor penalties in the first, neither team was able to solve the hot goaltenders. A couple late chances for the Red Wings came up short. First was a Tyler Burtt shot from the slot after a giveaway that just trickled wide. That was followed by a two-man breakaway for Luca Germinario and Dylan Fitzgibbon. Fitzgibbon was robbed by the sprawling Bandits goaltender after a cross-crease pass.
At the other end, Wings goaltender Ryan McLaughlin was having a solid start, until a minute into the second period when a screen blocked him from seeing a goal that barely got through his legs.
A scary moment came shortly after, when he was taken down hard on a rush to the net that had Austin Maggiacomo and a Bandits forward tangled up. McLaughlin stayed in the game after being down for several minutes.
He got some breathing room when the Wings tied the game midway through the frame, heading to the third 1-1.
Calvin McMugh was sprung on a breakaway early in the period, sending a wrister over the goalie's glove to give Schomberg its first lead of the game. It was quickly countered by the Bandits, on another goal that McLaughlin really couldn't be blamed for. A scramble in front led to the puck in the back of the net, with McLaughlin on his back after making several stops.
Unfortunately for the Red Wings, the puck luck was on the opposing side that night. There was just over five minutes left on the clock when a shot from the point was redirected a few times before catching McLaughlin going the other way, giving the Bandits a 3-2 lead that they would hold onto despite strong pressure from the Red Wings in the final minutes.
Game 5 goes Saturday in Dundas. If the Bandits can stave off elimination once more, action moves back to the Trisan Centre for the sixth and deciding game on Sunday.
For more information, visit www.schombergminorhockey.com.
Excerpt: The Juvenile Schomberg Red Wings have been close to tasting OMHA gold for over a week, but so far it’s only left a sour taste in their mouth.
Post date: 2015-03-25 11:33:12
Post date GMT: 2015-03-25 15:33:12
Post modified date: 2015-03-31 15:56:06
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