Patriots, Alliston to start North final Wednesday

MOUNT FOREST – The Mount Forest Patriots and Alliston Hornets are to begin their Provincial Junior Hockey League best-of-seven North Conference final Wednesday at the Mount Forest and District Sports Complex.

The Pollock Division-champion Patriots are to have home-ice advantage in the series with the Carruthers Division-champion Hornets.

Game time Wednesday is 8 p.m.

Game 2 is to be played at Alliston Friday beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Mount Forest is to host Game 3 Saturday at 8 p.m.

Game 4 is back in Alliston and is scheduled for Monday at 7:30 p.m.

If Game 5 is necessary, it’s to be played March 28 at Mount Forest beginning at 8 p.m.

If Game 6 is needed, it’s to go March 29 at Alliston at 7:30 p.m.

If the series goes its limit, Game 7 is scheduled for March 31 at 6:30 p.m. at the Mount Forest and District Sports Complex.

The Patriots and Hornets never met in any of the inter-division games this season. Mount Forest was 3-2-0 in its regular-season games with Carruthers Division opponents as they split with both the Huntsville Otters and Stayner Siskins and beat the Schomberg Cougars 5-3. The Patriots’ games with Huntsville both ended in 4-2 scores and the games with Stayner were both 8-4.

Alliston took two from the Walkerton Hawks, winning 5-0 and 11-7, and the Hornets split with the Wingham Ironmen, winning 6-3 and losing 3-1.

As the Carruthers Division has one more team than the Pollock Division, Carruthers teams have four games against Pollock opponents while Pollock teams have five games against Carruthers opponents.

Mount Forest finished atop the Pollock Division at 32-9-1-0 while Alliston was second in the Carruthers Division at 29-9-2-2.

After getting a bye in the first round, the Patriots swept Walkerton 4-0 in the division semifinals and defeated Wingham 4-2 in the Pollock final.

Alliston downed Huntsville 4-0 in the Carruthers quarter-finals, Caledon Golden Hawks 4-1 in the semifinals and Penetang Kings 4-0 in the final.

The Patriots have six players who are averaging at least a point per game in the playoffs – Ryley Cribbin (11 goals-12 assists, 10 games), Klayton Hoelscher (9-6, 10), Michael Stefanelli (7-5, 10), Troy Weber (3-9, 10), Jack Birkett (3-8, 10) and Thomas Haffner (1-7, 8).

Alliston has five players at a point-0r-more-a-game pace in the playoffs – Joey Visconti (8 goals-7 assists, 13 games), Ryan McReynolds (6-9, 10), Jakob Power (7-5, 10), Mitch Livingston (4-8, 10) and Braydon Hogarth (2-10, 11).

Aidan Quish started the last three games against Wingham in the Mount Forest net and won all three. He has a 2.18 goals-against average and .936 save percentage. David Lobsinger had started the previous seven games and was 5-2 with a 3.43 GAA and .891 save percentage.

Tyler Ryan has played the majority of the playoff games in net for the Hornets. He’s 9-1 with three shutouts, a 1.93 GAA and .930 save percentage. Adam Scott got the call for one game in each series and won all three, one by shutout. He’s got a 1.00 GAA and .967 save percentage.

This will be the second time in three years the Patriots and Hornets meet in the North final. Alliston won the series 4-1 in 2017.

This will also be the third consecutive North final appearance for Mount Forest. The Patriots were defeated 4-1 by Stayner in last year’s final.

The other conference finals pit the Wellesley Applejacks against the Grimsby Peach Kings in the South, the Napanee Raiders against the Uxbridge Bruins in the East and the Exeter Hawks against the Lakeshore Canadiens in the West.

None of last year’s conference champions – Stayner in the North, Lakefield Chiefs in the East, Glanbrook Rangers in the South and Lambeth Lancers in the West – reached this year’s conference finals.

 

  • Guelph Sports Journal