Atom AEs take lead in Ontario championship series
Huntsville heads to Pelham this weekend with 3-1 point lead
OH SO CLOSE:
The Huntsville Atom AE Otters nearly put one into the Pentham goal during Game 2 on Sunday at the Don Lough Arena. They would score two times in the game to win 2-0 and take the lead in their Ontario Minor Hockey Association finals.
HUNTSVILLE - The Huntsville Atom AE Otters have a lead in their Ontario championship final.
The first game of the Ontario Minor Hockey Association finals against the Pelham Panthers began this Saturday, March 16, at the Don Lough Arena in front of a very large group of fans. The support was amazing.
With the Otters down a man early, goalie Owen Buczek came through with two big stops to keep the Panthers off the board. Before the period ended, Cole Patey scored on a wraparound to put the Otters up 1-0 after one period.
In the second period, good pressure from the Otters hemmed the Panthers in and again with the Otters down a man, Buczek came up with several saves to keep the game 1-0 after two periods.
In the third, at the 14-minute mark, the Panthers finally solved Buczek and tied up the game at 1-1. Three minutes later, Patey fired one under the crossbar for a 2-1 Otters’ lead.
With the Otters in penalty trouble, the Panthers scored to tie the game, and then a few minutes later went up 3-2.
With the situation critical, Taylor Cottrill scored with 18 seconds left to tie the game at 3-3 and send the two sides into overtime.
For the fans in attendance, the Otters completely dominated the overtime frame, but couldn’t bury the puck when needed. The final score was 3-3 and each team received one point.
The first team to six points wins the Ontario title. A tip of the hat to the Pelham goalie, and also to Buczek, for some excellent goalkeeping.
Game 2 at the Don Lough was on Sunday, March 17. The Otters came out on the ice to another great turnout from the locals. The first period was a back-and-forth battle with each team receiving penalties and killing them off.
The start of the second had the Otters down a man again, but the defensive tandem of Tyson Robb and Jack Lockwood cleared out several pucks in the slot and fired them down the ice to kill it off.
After watching a nice combination of the penalty killers and Buczek saves, Patey stepped up, as captains do, and buried one to make it 1-0. The end of the second had the Otters down a man heading into the third as well.
The third period featured a very strong effort from the entire defensive core with Allan East using his size to clear the front, Jake Hildebrtandt skating the puck out of dangerous spots and Cole Punchard stepping up in the corners and coming out with the puck against his bigger opponents.
Speedy forward Cottrill scored at the nine-minute mark to give Huntsville a 2-0 lead.
Even with the Otters down again after the goal, the Panthers could not score when Huntsville decided to shut them down.
The final score was 2-0 for the Otters. This group of players played an amazing game.
The Otters now lead the series three points to one. Games 3 and 4 will be in Pelham this weekend and the scores will be posted on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jamie.lockwood.100.