The Hawkesbury Junior “A” Hawks have been eliminated in five games by the Rockland Nationals, bringing an end to the team’s 2018-2019 season.
After dropping the first game of the series, the Hawks looked to even things up at home on Tuesday night. Unfortunately for Hawkesbury, Rockland would strike first in this contest, putting the Hawks in a 1-0 hole to start the second. The Hawks would tie the game near the halfway mark of the frame but Rockland would respond with one of their own six minutes later to restore the lead. With the game still up for grabs, Rockland would tally two more goals near the midway point of the third to take a comfortable 4-1 lead. Hawkesbury would add another before the end of the game but Rockland would ultimately take the game 4-2 for the 2-0 series lead.
The series would return to Rockland for a pivotal game three. The Hawks would get off to a good start, potting a goal just two minutes in to take the early lead. However, the Nationals would come charging back after that, scoring four straight goals to take a familiar 4-1 lead. The Hawks would stick around but could not stop the Rockland onslaught; the Nationals would score four more goals en-route to an 8-3 final and a commanding 3-0 series lead.
With their season on the line, the Hawks returned home on Saturday night for game four. The pressure seemed to serve the Hawks well, as the team would score two goals before the end of the first to take an early 2-0 lead. Hawkesbury would continue rolling from there, scoring a goal each in the second and the third. Rockland would finally solve Hawks’ netminder Matthew Petizian in the second half of the final frame but would come no closer, with the Hawks claiming a 4-1 victory to preserve their season and push the series to 3-1.
On Monday, the Hawks would have their backs against the wall again, this time in enemy territory. Hawkesbury would find themselves in the hole early, allowing two power play goals against to go down 2-0. However, Jeremie Lavalee would find the net before the end of the second to draw the Hawks within one and stoke the hope of the Hawks faithful. Fighting for their playoff lives, Hawkesbury would give everything they had to bring the game back within reach but ultimately, the Nationals would not be deterred, scoring three more goals to take the game 5-1 and the series 4-1.
Hawkesbury finished the season in third place in the Yzerman Division and fifth overall. Last season, the Hawks were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs in a 4-0 series against the Carleton Place Canadians.