May leads Junior C Cougars past Golden Hawks

September 21, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Vince Michelizzi stops Caledon’s Matt Magliozzi in close in the Schomberg Cougars’ 3-1 win over the Golden Hawks in Caledon Sunday.


By Jake Courtepatte
Rookie Connor May notched his first two goals in a Schomberg Cougars uniform Sunday night to earn the Junior C club its first win of the season.
Playing the spoilers to the Caledon Golden Hawks’ home-opening night, the first period saw Caledon goalkeeper Jason Cumbo standing on his head. Connor Whiteside had a glorious opportunity on an early power play, stopped on a rebound by a diving Cumbo, drawing cheers from the home crowd.
Late in the first, team vet Ryley Egerton was sprung on a semi-breakaway while on the penalty kill, but was unable to beat Cumbo.
It was on the penalty kill, however, that May finally found the back of the net early in the second. Caledon’s Nicholas McNutt countered to tie it just minutes later, though May regained the lead with another shorthanded goal just before the ten-minute mark of the period.
Putting up a strong defensive approach for the final twenty minutes, Egerton added a late empty-netter for a 3-1 win.
Schomberg exacted revenge on Caledon following a home opener loss to the Hawks on Thursday at Trisan Centre, where Caledon threw 41 shots at Michelizzi for a 5-2 win. Brennan Young and Egerton were the lone Schomberg scorers.
The opening weekend of play brought about some massive changes to a league left mostly untouched for the past two decades.
The Georgian Mid-Ontario Hockey League, of which Schomberg has been a member since its beginnings in 1994, has become the Carruthers Division of the newly-formed Provincial Junior Hockey League (PJHL), a massive 65-team league.
Nearly 1,500 players will drop the puck on the inaugural PJHL season this September, though the ex-GMOHL division remains largely untouched. The division remains occupied by the Golden Hawks, Cougars, Stayner Siskins, Penetang Kings, Alliston Hornets, Midland Flyers, Huntsville Otters, and Orillia Terriers.
Ontario Hockey Association President Karen Phibbs said the new league is part of a rebranding initiative for Junior C hockey.
“Our goal is to ensure all players benefit from experiencing high-end hockey as close to home as possible,” said Phibbs. “We want to bring players, coaches, scouts, fans, families the opportunity to follow, and develop from, the rich history of Junior C hockey.”
Though now under the PJHL umbrella, the Cougars’ regular season schedule remains rooted in the ex-GMOHL. All regular season games are within the Carruthers Division, with inter-divisional play coming to fruition in the post-season race for the Clarence Schmalz Cup.
Schomberg will continue the tradition this season of hosting Thursday night games at the Trisan Centre, this week taking on the Huntsville Otters (1-1-0) at 8:30 p.m. They pay a visit to Huntsville the following night.
The Cougars will not have to face the defending league champion Alliston Hornets until mid-October. Alliston swept Schomberg out of the 2015-16 first round of playoffs in four games.
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