Sunday, March 26 – Hawkesbury 4 Renfrew 1 (Series tied 1-1)
The Hawkesbury Hawks turned the tables on the Renfrew Wolves, earning a 4-1 road victory on Sunday (March 26) to take back home-ice advantage in their Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) quarterfinal series.
Antoine Dorion had a goal and an assist for the Hawks and was named the game’s first star, while netminder Dimitri Pelekos stopped 37 of 38 shots to earn the win and second star honors. Aleksy Bandu, Nathan Gagne and Remi Gelinas added singles for Hawkesbury, who jumped out to a 3-0 lead by early in the second period.
Sunday’s game was almost a complete reversal of the opening game between the two teams at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex in Hawkesbury, won by Renfew 4-1.
“On Friday, I didn’t think we played that good of a game, but we didn’t play that bad of a game,” said Hawks Head Coach and General Manager Marc Bernique. “The guys responded (on Sunday).”
Friday, March 24 – Renfrew 4 Hawkesbury 1
Sebastian Resar made 30 saves as Renfrew took a 1-0 series lead. Hawkesbury’s Dimitri Pelekos, starting his first CCHL playoff game, made 41 saves in the loss.
Renfrew jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a power play goal by Scullion – a seeing-eye shot through a maze of players that Pelekos never saw. It looked like Hawkesbury had tied the game at 11:22 on a delayed penalty, but the goal was called back, as it was determined a Wolves player had touched the puck prior to the shot.
“That deflated us a bit,” Bernique admitted.
With Renfrew leading 3-0 and five minutes left in the game, Hawkesbury’s Brandon Clarke brought the home crowd to life, falling to the ice as he lofted the puck over Wolves netminder Resar to cut the lead to 3-1. The Hawks pulled Pelekos for an extra attacker and staged a furious rush, but were turned away by Resar each time. Kennelly scored on an rink-long shot into an empty Hawkesbury net at 18:43 to put the game away for Renfrew.
Hawks at home Thursday and Friday
Sunday’s win was critical, as Game 3 is also scheduled to be played in Renfrew on Tuesday, March 28. Hawkesbury needed to win at least one of the two games in Renfrew to avoid going back home down three games to none.
The Hawks will host Game 4 of the series at The Bob this Thursday, March 30, while Game 5 is also scheduled in Hawkesbury. Both games start at 7:30 p.m.
If necessary, Game 6, will go as an afternoon contest at Renfrew’s Ma-Te-Way Activity Center on Sunday, April 2, beginning at 2 p.m. The date for a potential Game 7 in the series had not been scheduled as of press time.
One negative for the Hawks in Sunday’s 4-1 win in Renfrew was the loss of several players due to injuries. Forward Jakson Kirk also received a match penalty in the contest, and may face a suspension by the league. Bernique said the Hawks would hold a light practice on Monday in preparation for Tuesday’s game in Renfrew.
“We just want to fine tune a few things,” Hawkesbury’s head coach said.
The Hawks have had great fan support this season, so let’s keep it going in the playoffs! Go Hawks!
Clarence and Gatineau-Hull in NCJHL finals
The defending champion Clarence Castors will meet the Gatineau-Hull Volant in National Capital Junior Hockey League (NCJHL) finals.
Gatineau-Hull hammered the South Grenville Rangers 9-4 at the Cardinal Arena on Sunday evening (March 26) to complete their upset of the NCJHL’s regular season champions and win the series four games to two.
On Saturday (March 25), Clarence’s Jacob Clement scored on the power play at 5:14 of overtime to send the Castors to the finals with a 5-4 win road win over the North Dundas Rockets in Chesterville. Tristan Bolduc, Tyler Brennan, Jacob Servant, and Jack Thor also scored for the Castors, who clinched the series in six games.
Casselman Vikings lead Richmond 3-2 in EOJHL semifinals
The Casselman Vikings crushed the Richmond Royals 9-1 on Sunday (March 26) to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League semifinal series between the two teams.
Casselman had tied up the series 2-2 at home on Saturday evening, with a 3-0 home win, before Sunday’s goal-scoring outburst in front of 250 disappointed fans at the Richmond Memorial Centre.
Game 6 in the series is scheduled for Tuesday, March 28, at the JR Brisson Complex in Casselman. Game time is 7:30 p.m. If necessary Game 7 will go in Richmond, beginning at 8:20 p.m.