Mount Forest claims Pollock Division crown
WALKERTON – The Mount Forest Patriots are the Provincial Junior Hockey League’s Pollock Division champions.
The Patriots continued their trek through the division playoffs to claim the division title by scoring three times – twice into an empty net – in the final six minutes of the game Saturday night to defeat the Walkerton Hawks 4-1 at the Walkerton Community Centre for a 4-3 victory in the series.
It was the second consecutive series that the Patriots won with a Game 7 victory on their opponents’ home ice as they had also edged the Mitchell Hawks in seven games in the divisional semifinals.
The Patriots are 12-6 in the playoffs after they had finished third in the division at the completion of the regular season with a 17-17-2 record. Walkerton had finished first at 29-6-1 and Mitchell second at 24-11-1.
With the win the Patriots advance to the best-of-seven North Conference final against the Carruthers Division champion Alliston Hornets. The Hornets had finished second in the division at 36-5-1, but knocked off first-place Stayner Siskins (39-3-0) with a 4-1 series win in the division final.
The division title win for the Patriots was their first since 1996 when they won their third consecutive Western Ontario Junior C Hockey League title. All Ontario Hockey Association junior C leagues joined to form the PJHL this season and were given new division names.
Saturday, the teams scored once each in the second period before the Patriots tallied three times in the third.
Justin McCrae opened the scoring for Walkerton on a power play before the second period was five minutes old.
The lead for the hosts didn’t last long, though, as Mount Forest tied it 61 seconds later when Troy Oakley fired home a shot.
The winning goal came with 5:48 to go in regulation time when Ostop Mostowy scored for Mount Forest. Mostowy had assisted on Oakley’s goal and Oakley assisted on Mostowy’s goal.
The Patriots added empty-net goals by Ryley Cribbin and Brendon Aitken in the final minute and a half to wrap up the scoring.
Mount Forest outshot Walkerton 34-29, but was scoreless on five power plays while Walkerton went 1-for-5 on the power play.
Mathieu Oullette picked up the win in net for the Patriots while Ryan Winter took the loss for Walkerton.
Dates for the series North Conference final, a provincial quarter-final, with Alliston are expected to be decided Sunday.
In the other conference finals, the Port Hope Panthers are to play the Lakefield Chiefs in the East, the Ayr Centennials are to play the Grimsby Peach Kings in the South and the Essex 73’s will play the winner of a game Sunday night between the Dorchester Dolphins and Aylmer Spitfires in the West. Sunday night’s game at Dorchester is Game 7 in the Yeck Division final.
Patriots 4 Hawks 1
Penalties: Weber MtF (high sticking), 3:28; S.Elder Walk (kneeing), 6:19; Patton Walk (cross checking), 15:14; Oakley MtF (holding), 16:24.
1. Walkerton, McCrae (Patton, Boley) 4:36 pp
2. Mount Forest, Oakley (Mostowy) 5:37
Penalties: Francis MtF (hooking), 2:59; Francis MtF (tripping), 9:23; S.Elder Walk (high sticking), 9:36; Walker Walk (hooking), 13:40; Bench MtF (too many men), 16:00; Deyell Walk (boarding, boarding misconduct), 16:26.
3. Mount Forest, Mostowy (Oakley) 14:12
4. Mount Forest, Cribbin (unassisted) 18:48 en
5. Mount Forest, Aitken (unassisted) 19:30 en
Shots on Goal
Mount Forest 10-14-10–34
Goalies: Oullette (W, 29 shots-28 saves), Mount Forest; Winter (L. 32 shots-30 saves), Walkerton.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Mount Forest 0-5; Walkerton 1-5.
Referees: Faulkner, Thornton; Linesmen: Davis, Noble.
- Guelph Sports Journal