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Balance key as U18s win unique tournament; lead the WOAA final

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Fresh off their single tournament championship in Ennismore the weekend of March 17-19, the Mitchell Larry Hudson Chevy Buick GMC U18 hockey team held a 2-1 lead over BCH in their best-of-five (six points ) WOAA ‘B’ thanks to a decisive 4-0 victory at home in the third match on March 22.

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If they win the series, the Meteors will end their 2021-22 season with a berth in another unique tournament, a 12-team OMHA event called the Tier 1 Championship in Windsor from April 1-3 mixed with centers Provincial BB and B. This event will replace the normal OMHA playoffs which ultimately crown the Provincial Champions.

The Meteors relied on depth to get through five grueling games over a three-day span at Ennismore, then after a day of rest and recovery they faced the Ice Dogs in their WOAA final. BCH scored a contested goal in the final buzzer on March 21 in Game 2 to hand the hosts a series-tying 3-2 loss, despite Mitchell rallying after a 2-0 deficit thanks to goals from Vincent Voros and Drew Scherbarth. But the following night, back at home after another restful sleep, Dawson Dietz scored twice and goalkeeper Deklan Jermol was snappy in goal, especially on a two-man disadvantage in the second half, to save shutout and take control of the series. . Tanner Meinen and Talbot Geiger also scored for Mitchell, who used his two-man power play in the third period to freeze the game.

Game 4 is scheduled for Friday, March 25 at 6:30 p.m. at Clinton and, if necessary, the following day at the same time and place to decide the WOAA champion and a ticket to Windsor.

In Ennismore (Barrie area), the Meteors were part of the four-team tournament as Wingham’s Silver Stick Regional Champions last November. The Silver Stick International Tournament, involving regional winners as well as teams from across the United States, was canceled in January due to COVID precautions, so Ennismore held a tournament weekend involving all regional winners.

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Mitchell faced Petrolia in their opener on March 17, and a rollercoaster affair ended with the Oilers taking a 5-3 win, freezing things in an empty net in the final seconds. Voros scored twice with Connor MacLean adding the other.

Against their hosts the next afternoon in a lively match, youThe Eagles played against the raucous hometown crowd and consistently held a two-goal lead over the Meteors throughout the game, but a determined Mitchell team put on a solid third-period comeback on goals from Voros and Geiger to fight for a 6-6 stalemate. Dietz led the pace with a hat trick while Brayden Glauser added the other goal. Later on March 18, Kemptville were the opponents for their third round robin game and thanks to goals from Jared Vosper and a scorching Dietz, took an early two-goal lead and would not come back in a penalty-filled 6-1 triumph. Geiger scored twice while Glauser netted another, while Jermol had his shutout offer broken with 92 seconds left.

In the semi-final against Ennismore once again, the Meteors came through playing a very well-structured game to silence the Eagles attack, getting two goals and an assist from Dietz in a 4-1 win. Vosper and Geiger also scored, with another late power-play goal ruining Jermol’s shutout attempt.

A rematch of the opening match against Petrolia was set for the championship. The teams exchanged goals in the first two periods and headed for the third stalemate at 3-3, but three unanswered goals from Caleb Templeman, Connor Lockhart (his second of the match) and Dietz sealed the 6- 3. Meinen also netted twice while Geiger bagged four assists for the Meteors.

Mitchell’s last U18/midget team to earn this honor at Silver Stick level was 18 years ago in 2004 – kudos to everyone from the coaching staff to the players to the loyal fans.

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