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Shamrocks start semifinal with loss to New Hamburg

BADEN – The Hespeler Shamrocks dropped the opening game of their Provincial Junior Hockey League Doherty Division semifinal 5-2 to the New Hamburg Firebirds Wednesday at the Wilmot Recreation Complex.

Hespeler opened the scoring 31 seconds into the best-of-seven series, but New Hamburg tied it five minutes later as the first period finished with the teams tied 1-1. The hosts scored all three second-period goals while the teams added a goal apiece in the third, New Hamburg’s coming with six seconds to go.

Jack Restauri had a goal and an assist for Hespeler while Justin George also scored. Kaiden Gignac, Andrew Harris and Michael Boyle-Ricupero each had an assist.

Scoring for New Hamburg were Antonio Pasqualino, Jake Thompson, Owen Bruder, Riley Benko and Owen Fischer. Keegan Metcalf and Bruder each had two assists while Kyle Kraemer, Thompson, Fischer, Matt Domm and Owen Sculthorp each had one assist.

New Hamburg outshot Hespeler 35-25 and went 2-for-4 on its power play while the Shamrocks went 1-for-6. The Firebirds also had a shorthanded goal.

David Hanley had 30 saves for Hespeler while Graeme Noye had 23 for New Hamburg.

The game was the first for the Firebirds since they finished their regular season with a 5-2 win over the Shamrocks at Hespeler Feb. 25. The Shamrocks have played seven games since then as they slipped by the Tavistock Braves in a divisional quarter-final that went its seven-game limit.

New Hamburg had finished first in the seven-team division and received a bye in the quarter-finals while the Shamrocks finished sixth and faced third-place Tavistock.

The Shamrocks and Firebirds are to return to Baden Friday for Game 2 of the series. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Game 3 is to go at the Hespeler Memorial Arena Sunday at 3:30 p.m.


  • Guelph Sports Journal