Bears’ turn for OT victory in boys’ hockey final
FERGUS – Both the Orangeville Scarlet Bears and the Centre Wellington Falcons know how the other one felt following last year’s District 4/10 high school boys’ hockey championship match.
They know because Thursday in this year’s final at the Centre Wellington Sportsplex they were on the opposite side to last year.
Andy Whitton scored a power-play goal 1:50 into the second overtime period to give Orangeville a 2-1 victory.
“They’re a tough team and it’s been the same for the last three years now,” Orangeville coach Justin Davis said. “Last year we lost the exact same way – 4-on-3 power play. It sits for you for a while. I have a lot of respect for those guys. It’s tough and I know exactly how they’re feeling. But for our guys, especially the ones that saw last year, it’s kind of a great moment for them.”
“It happened the same way,” Whitton said of last year’s final. “Overtime, power play. It’s just bad luck.”
The goal was Whitton’s second of the game as he had tucked a backhander in on a partial breakaway early in the second period.
“I passed it out to Thomas (Viveiros) and Thomas got a good shot through,” Whitton said of the final goal. “Leighton (Cooke) got the rebound and it was just sitting there and everyone didn’t know where it was and I just tapped it in.”
Jake Quinlan assisted on both of the goals for the Bears while Thomas Viveiros and Leighton Cooke each had one assist.
Mark McIntosh scored for Centre Wellington early in the first period with help from Dean Sealey and Tyler Young.
That the two teams met in the final is par for the course as they routinely finish in the top two spots in the league, something they did this season for the fifth consecutive year and sixth time in seven years.
It was also the third consecutive year the Bears and Falcons met in the final and the fifth time in seven years. With that kind of history, you know there is a strong rivalry between the teams and it’s a healthy one.
“This was probably one of our better games of the season,” Whitton said. “We’ve just got to keep going.”
The games between the teams are hard-hitting, but the hits are clean, and they usually have a pretty quick pace to them and strong goaltending. All were true Thursday.
For Orangeville, the Bears appear to be on a roll.
“It’s like any season with high school kids,” Davis said. “You go through your ups and downs. The kids committed and they all responded in the last semifinal game and we’re playing as well as we have, which is good.
However, the season did seem to start a little slower than normal for the Bears although they did win their first three games, all against teams that finished with losing records.
“I think guys come back and they think things are going to be easy and then they realize they’re going to have to work,” Davis said. “Especially for the older guys, the tough thing is conditioning. They’re not playing (rep) hockey any more and this is all they have so you try to get them to work at practice and get in shape. A lot of them have just got to that point now.”
The Bears advance to the CWOSSA AAA championship tournament that the Falcons are to host Monday and Tuesday. The Falcons do not get in as hosts.
Orangeville will be in a pool with the Elmira Lancers and Owen Sound Wolves while the other pool consists of the Waterloo-Oxford of Baden, Resurrection Phoenix of Kitchener and North Park of Brantford.
“I know Elmira’s supposed to be a really good team,” Davis said of the CWOSSA field. “I’m superstitious. I try not to look too much ahead. I’ll look at it this weekend. This is the fifth or sixth time we’ve been there so I know the first day is important to set yourself up well for the second day.”
“We’ve just got to keep playing the way we’ve been playing,” Whitton said. “We’ve got to get pucks on the net and stop trying to take everything one-on-one.”
It’s pool play Monday and tournament playoff action Tuesday with the semifinals set for 10 a.m. and the final slated to go at 2 p.m.
Scarlet Bears 2 Falcons 1
Centre Wellington 1-0-0-0-0–1
1. Centre Wellington, McIntosh (Sealey, Young), 3:16
Penalties: Detweiler CW (boarding), 3:54; E.Cooke Orange (slashing), 8:14; Bernier CW (high sticking), 9:07.
2. Orangeville, Whitton (Quinlan, Viveiros), 5:11
Penalties: Bauman CW (tripping), 1:16; Spear CW (kneeing), 3:56; Viveiros Orange (high sticking), 10:58; E.Cooke Orange (tripping), 12:53.
Penalty: Buckley Orange (boarding) 0:58
Penalty: Bauman CW (high sticking), 4:58
3. Orangeville, Whitton (L.Cooke, Quinlan), 1:50 pp
- Guelph Sports Journal