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Mount Forest Patriots open division final with road win

The Mount Forest Patriots scored three times in the final six and a half minutes of the game to squeeze out a 4-3 victory over the Hanover Barons in the opening game of their Provincial Junior Hockey League Pollock Division final Friday at Hanover’s P and H Centre.

Hanover led 1-0 at the end of the first period and 2-1 after the second before extending its lead to two goals at 10:16 of the third.

However, the Patriots responded with goals at 13:47, 16:07 and 16:50 of the third, the first two on power plays, to claim the victory.

Jaxon Gawel had a goal and two assists for Mount Forest while Brody Leblanc, Will Lewis and Seth Huygen also scored. Getting one assist apiece were Austin Griffin, Matt McLellan and Marshall Nicholls.

Alex McGillivray tallied twice for Hanover while Aaron Dukeshire had the other goal. Kyle Maloney picked up two assists while Patrick Brown, Austin Farlow, Payton McIsaac and Joey Stimac had one each.

Hanover outshot the Patriots 17-7 in the first period on its way to a 43-33 advantage in the game. Mount Forest went 3-for-5 on its power play and held the Barons scoreless on four power plays.

Marshall Nicholls had 40 saves for the Patriots and Derek Hartley had 29 for the Barons.

Hanover had finished the regular season atop the division at 36-4-0-2 (W-L-OTL-T) while the Patriots were second, seven points behind at 32-7-3-0.

Mount Forest disposed of the Mitchell Hawks 4-0 in the division quarter-finals and Kincardine Bulldogs 4-1 in the division semifinals while Hanover defeated the Goderich Flyers 4-0 in the division quarter-finals and the Fergus Whalers 4-2 in the division semifinals.

Second game of the best-of-seven division final is set for Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Mount Forest and District Sports Complex while the third game is slated for Sunday at 2 p.m. at Hanover. Fourth game is to go Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Mount Forest.

The if-necessary games are scheduled for April 5 at 8 p.m. at Hanover, April 6 at 8 p.m. at Mount Forest and April 8 at 8 p.m. at Hanover.

Winner of the series is to advance to the North Conference final against the winner of the best-of-seven Carruthers Division final between the Alliston Hornets and Stayner Siskins.

Alliston won the opening game of that series 4-3 on home ice at the New Tecumseth Recreation Centre Thursday.


  • Guelph Sports Journal