Minor Peewee Jr. Stars move on to face Amherstburg, News, Minor Pee Wee A, U12-U13 Travel, 2009-2010 (St. Thomas Minor Hockey)

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Minor Peewee Jr. Stars move on to face Amherstburg
Submitted By lcarmichael on Sun 01 24, 10
The St. Thomas Optimist Minor Peewee Jr. Stars are moving on in OMHA Playdowns after defeating the Riverside Rangers 7 points to 5 in a 6 game preliminary round series.   Next on the OMHA playdown path are the Amherstburg Stars.  Read on for a game by game summary of the Minor Peewee's series win over Riverside.

St. Thomas travelled to Windsor on Friday January 8th to begin their OMHA Playdown preliminary series against the Riverside Rangers.  After testing out the competition St. Thomas got down to business when Aaron Hiddink scored a sweet unassisted goal to spark the visitors.  Less than a minute later Mackenzie Parkin put a nice pass from Jonathan Rive in the back of the Riverside net for a 2-0 lead after one period.  Riverside responded 41 seconds into the second period when Garrett Belanger scored.  Hiddink's second of the night from Carter Ostojic restored the two goal lead.  Riverside's Nicholas Preivr again brought the home team to within one with 2:50 left in the second period.  Riverside tied up the game 5 minutes into the 3rd period.  A minute later Dawson Cook's slap shot with eyes went up and over the Riverside goalie's stick and into the net.  St. Thomas again forged a two goal lead when Aidan Barry received a Hiddink pass while streaking down right wing and beat the Riverside goalie.  Not giving up the Rangers again came back with two goals of their own, the last with 42 seconds left.  The 10 minute OT period solved nothing and each team went home with a single point in the 6 point series following an exciting opening game.  What will game 2 bring?

For game two, St. Thomas travelled to Windsor on Sunday January 10th.  After Friday night's barn burner and Saturday's let down in London - we were anxious to see which Jr. Stars team would get on the ice at the Windsor Family Credit Union Centre.  The evenly matched teams played to a scoreless first half that produced several good scoring chances on each side and some good clean physical play.  Again St. Thomas opened the scoring when Zach Langley's knuckle ball slapshot beat the Riverside tender, assisted by Preston Hathaway and Aidan Barry.  The physical play continued along with several good scoring chances.  St. Thomas was able to shut down Riverside's bread and butter cross ice breakout pass which frustrated the home team for a scoreless second period.  Riverside's hard work and persistence eventually produced the tying goal with 6:58 left in the third.  A slightly down Jr. Stars team continued to battle and their hard work paid off.  With 5:11 left in the 3rd period, as he was falling to the ice Carter Ostojic tipped in a laser pass from Jonathan Rive for the game winning highlight reel goal. Preston Hathaway also assisted on the game winner.  Curtis Gremonprez played a solid game between the pipes to backstop St. Thomas to the win.  St. Thomas leads the 6 point series 3 points to 1.

Going into game three, St. Thomas looked poised to go up 5 points to 1 early in the first period as they built a 3 goal lead in the first  7 1/2 minutes of the first period.  Jake Rick opened the scoring when he tipped the puck in to complete a Preston Hathaway to Aaron Hiddink to Rick passing play.  Four minutes later Sam Carmichael buried a sweet pass from Hiddink with Rick also assisting on the play.  With 2 1/2 minutes left in the first period Dawson Cook's slapshot from Jake Rick beat the Riverside goaltender.  The second period belonged to Riverside as they chipped away at the lead built by the Jr. Stars with goals from Caleb Paquette (assisted by Garrett Belanger) and Derek Weerts (assisted by Belanger and Benson Shroeder).  In the third, four more Riverside goals by Jacob Di Fazio (assisted by Joey Goulaswski), Ryan Coughlin (assisted by Paquette and Belanger), Paquette (assisted by Moran) and Weerts (assisted by Di Fazio and Paquette) completed the dismantling of the Jr. Stars.  Aidan Barry scored unassisted with 4 minutes left to go but it was too little too late.  Riverside draws even at 3 points. 

Game four saw the Jr. Stars bring a much better work, albeit undisciplined, work ethic to the rink on Sunday January 17th as they played better team defence led by goalie Curtis Gremonprez and D men Brody Bell, Dawson Cook, Austin McIntee and Preston Hathaway.  With seven trips to the penalty box the penalty kill was 6 for 7 and a key to the victory in an undisciplined effort.  After a scoreless first period Jake Rick sent Aaron Hiddink into the Riverside zone with a great lead pass.  Hiddink did not waste it as he sent a howitzer to the Riverside net that was only seen by the Riverside goalie after it bulged the twine behind him.  Hiddink's howitzer sparked the Jr. Stars.  Four minutes later Aidan Barry converted the game winner on some great passes from Jonathan Rive and Dawson Cook.  Riverside's Goulaswski cut the lead in half with a power play marker from Leclair with just under 6 minutes to go.  Two minutes later Sam Carmichael converted a smooth cross ice pass from Hiddink to seal the deal as St. Thomas takes a 5 points to 3 lead into game 5.

Needing only a tie to clinch the OMHA Preliminary Playdown series, the St. Thomas Optimist Jr. Stars hosted game five on Friday January 22.  Unfortunately for the Jr. Stars, the alternating pattern of efforts continued as they dropped another lackluster effort on the ice and handed Riverside a way back into the series with a 2-1 loss.  Riverside opened the scoring with just under two minutes left in the first period with Weerts connected  to beat St. Thomas goalie Justin McDonald.  McDonald kept the Jr. Stars in the game when at times the team in front of him seemed to be in another place.  Aaron Hiddink spurred on the home team when he finished a nice play by Dawson Cook and Matthew Crump to tie the game with just under 6 minutes to go in the 2nd period.  However even the heroic efforts displayed by McDonald could not  preserve the tie as the  Jr. Stars  continued their lackluster play in the 3rd period and Riverside sniper Caleb Paquette beat McDonald with only 2 1/2 minutes gone in the period.  With the series tied 5 points each, St. Thomas would now have to travel back to Windsor's Windsor Family Credit Union arena for a winner take all game six.

In a deciding game 6 showdown, the St. Thomas Optimist Minor Peewee Jr. Stars once again travelled to the Windsor Family Credit Union Centre to do battle with the Riverside Rangers on Saturday January 23rd.  St. Thomas opened the scoring when Sam Carmichael buried a soft pass from Aaron Hiddink.  The elation was short lived as the Rangers stepped up their physical play and answered with two goals in 71 seconds from Derek Weerts (1st assisted by Leclair and second by Belanger).  Aidan Barry drew the Jr. Stars even in the second period assisted by Jonathan Rive and Zach Langley.  The remainder of the second period was back and forth with good solid physical play on both sides.  St. Thomas goalie Curtis Gremonprez made key saves when they were needed to keep the Jr. Stars in the game.  With just under 10 minutes in the 3rd period Aaron Hiddink made his presence felt.  Hiddink's 1st goal of the day assisted by Jake Rick with 9:23 left gave the St. Thomas team the lead that they would not give up again.  Sam Carmichael and Austin McIntee set up Hiddink for his second with 7:41 to go.  Riverside responded with Nicholas Prievr scoring unassisted.  Hiddink responded unassisted at 2:34 only to have Riverside's Joey Goulaswski also respond unassisted.  With 36 seconds left and the Riverside net empty, Hiddink not to be denied, battled through the left wing boards to find the empty net and seal the deal with his fourth of the game.  St. Thomas takes series 7 points to 5 and move on to face Amherstburg in the 2nd round Preliminary series.
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