Celtics connect for overtime win at Sleeman Centre
GUELPH – The Bishop Macdonell Celtics gave themselves an early Christmas present Tuesday with a 5-4 victory in overtime over the Westside Thunder in District 4/10 high school boys’ hockey play at the Sleeman Centre.
“That was a big two points for the team,” Bishop Mac coach James Prigione. “Moving forward, that was a game we needed to win and points we need to go forward in the playoffs.”
Ryan Gill’s goal 69 seconds into overtime allowed the Celtics to salvage out of the game in which they held a territorial advantage.
“It felt amazing,” Gill said of scoring the winner. “The boys needed the big two points so it was awesome.”
The winning goal came on a shot from the left point that somehow founds its way untouched through a bunch of players in front of the Westside net.
“I just thought I’d get it to the net, keep it in,” Gill said. “Fortunately there was some traffic and it went in.”
The Celtics scored the lone goal of the first period and led 3-2 at the end of the second. Bishop Mac jumped ahead by two in the opening minute of the third period, but Westside had it knotted 4-4 two minutes later.
Matt Maldonado had two goals for Bishop Mac while L. Power and Jake Fries each had a goal and an assist. Ryan Gill had the winning goal while Carter McGrath assisted on three of the goals and Trent DiCiccio and Brendan Gill each had two assists and Nate Hamilton had one.
Still and J.Barkley each had a goal and an assist for Westside while Coates and Partridge also scored. Getting one assist apiece were Novich, Gillespie, St. Denis, Rahn and Bayles.
The win put an end to a two-game losing streak for the Celtics who had won their previous five.
“It’s a tight team,” Ryan Gill said of the reason for Bishop Mac’s early success. “The boys are tight and when we get rolling, heads up.”
“So far it’s just the commitment level from the boys,” Prigione said. “Everybody has been putting in the work and everybody’s been coming to practice, showing up. We’re just playing a hard game and working our way. We’re trying to improve every game and become the team we want come playoffs.”
Centre Wellington Falcons lead the league at 6-0-1-0 and are followed by the Celtics at 6-2-0-0, Orangeville Bears at 5-1-0-0, Norwell Varsity Reds at 5-2-0-0, Ross Royals at 4-3-0-0, Guelph CVI Green Gaels at 3-4-0-0, Wellington Heights Wolverines at 1-5-0-0, Westside at 0-5-1-1 and Centennial Spartans at 0-7-0-0.
The game was also the final one of 2018 for Bishop Mac. They’ll have two road games remaining on their schedule, one at Palmerston against Norwell Jan. 16 and the other one against Orangeville Feb. 5.
“I was very important to go into the break with a win,” Prigione said. “We’re going to regroup come the new year and try to fight our way through and finish in the top two spots coming into the playoffs.”
“We’ll need to get our legs going again,” Ryan Gill said. “We have a big game against our rivals Norwell so we’ll need to get going for that. There’s a big two points right there.”
Bishop Mac and Norwell are the top two A/AA teams in the league. Final regular-season placings in games involving A/AA teams are used to decide berths in the CWOSSA A/AA tournament.
The A/AA standings have Bishop Mac leading at 3-0-0-0 while Norwell is at 2-0-0-0, Westside is at 0-2-0-1 and Wellington Heights is at 0-2-0-0.
Norwell 4 Wellington Heights 2
Will Dennison had two goals and an assist for Norwell while Owen Troyer and Will Black each scored a goal. Ian Jamieson assisted on three of the goals.
Charlie McKenzie and Brody Leblanc netted the goals for Wellington Heights while Leblanc also had an assist.
- Guelph Sports Journal