BRACEBRIDGE - The cruellest trick may have been that the Bracebridge Greavette Minor Midget Bears didn’t get to play on April Fool’s Day.
THE BATTLING BEARS.
The Bracebridge Greavette Minor Midget Bears faced playoff elimination 12 times this post-season, and were finally eliminated from the Ontario Minor Hockey Association championship finals in game 5 against the Petrolia Oilers.
After facing playoff elimination an incredible 12 times this spring, the Bears were finally bested March 31. Team representative Chris Bedforth explained the minor midget club continually fought their way back into the playoff series this spring, including coming back from a 2-0 game deficit in the best-of-five Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) minor midget finals against the Petrolia Oilers.
The Bears knotted the final series at two games apiece over the weekend of March 24, setting up a crucial game March 31 on the road in Petrolia. Bracebridge came out strong, drawing first blood on a first-period goal by Jack Smith.
“The Bears kept the pressure on all period but missed many great opportunities around the Petrolia net until the Oilers tied the game with less than a minute in the first period,” Bedforth said.
He said the Bears played another strong second period, outshooting Petrolia, but gave up another goal to fall behind 2-1 going into the third and final frame.
“The third was a tense back-and-forth affair with outstanding goaltending by Adam Tennant until Petrolia scored to make it a 3-1 game,” Bedforth explained.
Petrolia added an empty net goal to win the game 4-1 and the series 3-2.
“We would like to thank the kids, coaching staff, parents and all the fan support that made this an unbelievable playoff run where the Bears faced elimination 12 times before losing game five in the finals,” Bedforth said, adding “what a great effort by the boys.”
Riley Vogels of Gravenhurst got some additional praise from his coaches, as the forward paced his playoff offence with crucial goals in each of the Bears’ wins over Petrolia.
The minor midget Bears still have one game left to play for a Muskoka-Parry Sound playdown against Huntsville, although as of press time, the exact date and time had not yet been set, although it will be in Huntsville.