GRAVENHURST - Playing under the weight of a police investigation into an off-ice brawl during the semi-finals of the annual classic tournament in Rama Dec. 6, the South Muskoka Shield mustered one win in two weekend regular season games and fell out of a tie for third place.
South Muskoka Shield's Ryan Miller takes a shot on the Bobcaygeon goalie during Friday night's home game. The Shield pulled off a tense 2-1 win with the winning goal scored with only three minutes left in the game.
Photo by Richard Coburn
The Shield were disqualified from the three-day College Showcase Classic tournament in Rama held Dec. 4 to 6 after going undefeated into the semifinal rounds against the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League (GMHL) leading Bradford Rattlers (see story page B1). With a hearing looming with GMHL league officials Dec. 10 to determine if any punishment would be warranted, the Shield still had the matter of two regular season games to play through Dec. 7 and 9.
Their Friday night home game to Bobcaygeon was a tense 2-1 win that saw backup goalie Jon Tenca pick up his first goal of the season and of the game in the second period, having laced up in traditional pads to play outside of the crease.
Midway through the third period, Bobcaygeon managed to tie the game up at one-all before the Shield’s Andrey Novikov pelted in the go-ahead with about three minutes left for the 2-1 final.
In an important matchup for the standings Dec. 9, the visiting Shield were overcome by a powerful Temiscaming offence. The Titans have had a claim on second seed since the onset of the season in September and while the Shield had fought their way from near the bottom of the standings early this season up into third seed last week, three weekend wins by the Bracebridge Phantoms to only one Shield win dropped the local club out of a tie for third.
Temiscaming potted eight goals to only one for the Shield that came late in the game, unassisted to Cody Cesarz.
The Shield now have 32 points in 25 games, four back of the Phantoms who retained third seed but who have only played 22 games thus far.
On Dec. 14, the Shield are scheduled to play in Mattawa for an 8:30 p.m. start, followed by a home game Dec. 15 against Orangeville, also starting at 8 p.m.