Patriots hit for three in a row to oust Mitchell Hawks
MOUNT FOREST – The Mount Forest Patriots broke a tie with three consecutive goals on their way to winning their series-deciding game with the Mitchell Hawks 6-3 Wednesday night at the Mount Forest and District Sports Complex.
The win gave the Patriots a 4-3 lead in the best-of-seven Provincial Junior Hockey League Pollock Division semifinal series.
The rally for the Patriots started in the second period as the teams were tied 2-2 after the first. Mount Forest scored twice in the second and added another goal early in the third.
Jack Birkett and Ryley Cribbin tallied twice apiece for the Patriots while the other goals were scored by William Black and Michael Stefanelli. Blair Butchart had three assists while Nathan Bolger had two and Cribbin, Stefanelli and Birkett had one each.
Brett Denny, Zach Dow and Charlie Rankin each had a goal for Mitchell while Tanner Hertel, Tyson Hall and Kyle Langlois each had an assist.
Mitchell outshot the Patriots 42-40 and went 1-for-7 on its power play while Mount Forest went 2-for-6.
Gleb Poliakov had 39 saves for the Patriots while Lucas Bain had 34 for Mitchell.
The Patriots, who had a bye in the divisional quarter-finals, advance to play the Wingham Ironmen in the Pollock final. The Ironmen disposed of the Walkerton Hawks 4-0 in the quarter-finals and Kincardine Bulldogs 4-0 in the semifinals, a series that finished Feb. 26.
Mount Forest finished atop the division standings at the completion of the regular season at 33-7-1-1 while Wingham was seven points behind in second at 28-9-2-3.
The Patriots and Ironmen split their seven-game regular-season series as they each had three wins, one in overtime, and a tie. Of the seven games, only a 3-2 win in overtime by the Ironmen at Wingham Jan. 17 came in the 2020 portion of the season. The other six games were all in 2019.
At Mount Forest, the teams tied 3-3 Oct. 5 and the Patriots won 5-4 Oct. 12 and 4-3 in overtime Nov. 16.
At Wingham, the Patriots won 3-2 Nov. 1 while the Ironmen prevailed 6-2 in the season opener Sept. 13 and 5-2 Dec. 27.
The Pollock Division final is to start Saturday at the Mount Forest and District Sports Complex. Game time is 8 p.m.
Game 2 is to go at Wingham’s Wescast Main arena Sunday at 3 p.m.
Patriots 6 M Hawks 3
Mount Forest 2-2-2–6
- Guelph Sports Journal