Celtics advance to league semis and CWOSSA A/AA tourney
GUELPH – The Bishop Macdonell Celtics grabbed berths in both the District 4/10 high school boys’ hockey league’s semifinals and the CWOSSA A/AA tournament as they outlasted the Guelph CVI Green Gaels 3-1 in league quarter-final play Tuesday at the West End arena.
That victory combined with an 8-1 win by the Ross Royals over the Norwell Varsity Reds at the Palmerston arena Tuesday gave the Celtics their spot in the CWOSSA tournament at Kincardine March 4 and 5.
The Celtics were grateful for a tight match to start the playoffs.
“That’s a very good thing,” Bishop Mac coach James Prigione said. “It’s always good to have a little bit of a tough game (to start) the playoffs. We haven’t played for a week and we hadn’t had a practice going into this so we’re just getting our feet under our belt.”
“It really wakes us up,” Bishop Mac goaltender Ben MacDonald said.
Last week’s snow days played havoc with schedules for both games and practices.
“We probably missed about two practice,” Prigione said. “But the boys were ready to go and it showed today.”
Bishop Mac started in a hurry against the Gaels with a goal 1:18 into the contest, but GCVI got that one back with a minute to go in the first period. The Celtics connected for the eventual game-winner midway through the second of the tight game and they rounded out the scoring with a shorthanded, empty-netter with 16 seconds to go in the third.
“We really needed to work harder in that second period,” MacDonald said. “We were kind of losing control of the game there a bit, but we brought it back in the third.”
While MacDonald and counterpart Thomas Ford of GCVI were busy throughout, the second was MacDonald’s busiest period.
“They were pounding the net with some hard shots,” MacDonald said.
Aaron Fries, Michael Pollard and Matt Maldonado had a goal apiece for Bishop Mac while assists went to Alex Coverdale, Trent DiCiccio, Reed Kurtz and Jeremy Lightbourne.
Jacob Elmes scored for GCVI with help from Lucas Cross and Blake Forester.
For Bishop Mac, the season has been a good one so far as they finished third at the completion of the regular season at 8-2-0-0. That’s the same record as the Orangeville Bears, but Orangeville was given the position by scoring more goals against Bishop Mac than they allowed in their two-game split of their regular-season series. Orangeville won 4-1 in Guelph Dec. 11 and Bishop Mac won 4-3 in Orangeville last week.
“It’s been really good,” MacDonald said of the season. “We’ve only lost two (D10) games so I can’t complain about that. It’s better than last year.”
Bishop Mac was fifth in 2017-18 at 3-4-1-1, but were ousted from the semifinals. They were 10th and last in 2016-17 at 1-8-1-0 and were dropped by Orangeville in the quarter-finals.
The Celtics advance to the league semifinals against either the Orangeville Bears or Ross, depending on the result of Wednesday’s quarter-final between Orangeville and the Westside Thunder.
If the Bears win that game, they’ll host Bishop Mac and Ross will play the Centre Wellington Falcons at Fergus Thursday. If Westside wins that game, the Thunder will play the Falcons at Fergus Thursday and the Celtics and Royals will battle in the other semifinal.
The Celtics completed their regular season Feb. 11 with a win over the Bears at Orangeville’s Tony Rose arena.
“That was a big win for our team,” Prigione said. “I don’t remember the last time we had an upset in Orangeville. That’s a big win and if we do end up playing them again, we’re for sure going to be ready for it.”
Ross 8 Norwell 1
Adam Nightengale and Carter Phillips had two goals apiece for Ross while single markers were netted by Calvin Fogler, Mitch Penner, Adam Best and Noah Van Dam.
Payton McIsaac had the lone goal for Norwell.
Centre Wellington 3 Wellington Heights 1
Scoring details not reported.
- Guelph Sports Journal