BRACEBRIDGE – The Bracebridge Phantoms put up their shots and their fight, but 13 dressed players facing off against 21 of some of the largest players in the league was too much to overcome for the first-year expansion team.
Bracebridge Phantoms first season ends.
Blonde bombshells. The Phantoms were pumped to compete in Temiskaming, but the Titans took the day.
The Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League’s Russell Cup finals will now feature the undefeated Bradford Rattlers from the south division facing off the Temiscaming Titans from the north division after disrobing the Phantoms in seven games.
On March 19 the Phantoms first season came to a crashing halt with a 9-1 road loss to the Titans in the final game of their best-of-seven semifinal series, one of the very few playoff rounds this season not to feature a sweep, let alone go the full distance.
“It’s a bit tough right now, but when the dust settles a bit I know that we should be pleased; out of 15 teams, to be in the top three is pretty incredible for a first-year team,” said Phantom owner and general manager Tim Dickieson.
The Phantoms went into the final two games of the series short players; a couple due to season-ending injuries, five due to suspensions from game five in Temiscaming.
Game six in Bracebridge saw the Phantoms miraculously overcome their short bench to force game seven, but that was as far as the season would take them.
The Phantoms peppered the Titans net with almost 50 shots, but six powerplay goals by the Titans before the close of the second period did the Phantoms no favours.
“It all worked out as planned I guess, just not how I planned,” Dickieson said. “We held our own and I’m really thrilled with the way the guys played all season, but it’s really hard to keep up with a team like the Titans when you’re short some of your best players.
“It was a good start to Junior A hockey in Bracebridge though,” he added.