St. Thomas Optimist Minor PeeWee A Jr. Stars reach OMHA Playdown Semi Finals, News, Minor Pee Wee A, U12-U13 Travel, 2009-2010 (St. Thomas Minor Hockey)

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St. Thomas Optimist Minor PeeWee A Jr. Stars reach OMHA Playdown Semi Finals
Submitted By lcarmichael on Mon 02 22, 10
The St. Thomas Optimist Minor PeeWee Jr. Stars defeated the Grimsby Peach Kings in four games to reach the OMHA Playdown Quarter Semi Finals.  The Jr. Stars won the series by a margin of 7 points to 1 outscoring the Peach Kings by a margin of 15 to 6.  After starting the series with a tie in game 1 on the road the Minor PeeWees won the next three games and are awaiting the winner of the Centre Wellington and Burlington quarter final series.  Read on for a game by game summary of the series.  

Game 1:
St. Thomas travelled to Grimsby on Friday February 12th to begin their OMHA Quarter Final series.  The Jr. Stars opened the scoring with 2:41 left in the first when Aaron Hiddink dropped a pass to Dawson Cook who wired a slapshot past the Grimsby goalie.  The Jr. Stars increased the lead to 2-0 when Dawson Cook and Jonathan Rive combined to set up Aidan Barry on his way to the net where he deposited the puck.

The Jr. Stars took their 2-0 lead into the second period seemingly in control of the game.  However as sometimes happens in minor hockey, focus becomes elusive and the boys seemed to take their foot off of both the gas and discipline pedals.  The Peach Kings took advantage of the frequent St. Thomas trips to their alternate bench ... to narrow the margin to 2-1.  

The Jr. Stars continued their undisciplined play into the 3rd period which eventually resulted in Grimsby's second 5 on 3 advantage of the game .  Grimsby's Sean Principi found the St. Thomas net during a goal mouth scramble with assists going to Adam Kowsloski and Luke McLeod to tie the game and send it to overtime.  The 4th period solved nothing and the Jr. Stars brought 1 point home to get ready to host game 2 the next day.

Game 2:
After picking up a point on road in the opening game the Jr. Stars were anxious to pick up the next two points on home ice the next day.  After reviewing the finer points of team discipline with Coach Cook, the Jr. Stars took to home ice to resume their OMHA playdown run.

After an energetic and exciting but scoreless first period, St. Thomas opened the scoring 3 1/2 minute into the second period when Matthew Crump and Aaron Hiddink set up Jake Rick who converted a slick passing play into a 1-0 lead.  Ten minutes later Aaron Hiddink unassisted, found the twine in the Grimsby net to increase the lead to 2-0.  With only 23.4 seconds left in the 2nd period Hiddink and Zach Langley set up Aidan Barry who pushed the Jr. Stars lead to 3-0 heading into the break between the 2nd and 3rd period. 

In the 3rd period, the Minor PeeWee Jr. Stars kept up the pressure which Grimsby could not seem to handle and kept scoring.  Mackenzie Parkin set up Aidan Barry 22 seconds into the 3rd period and Dawson Cook and Aidan Barry set up Jonathan Rive to push the lead to 5-0 with 2:35 to go in the 3rd period.  Adam Kowsloski from Luke McLeod spoiled Curtis Gremonprez's bid for a shutout with 1:51 left in the game.  Aaron Hiddink completed the scoring with 27.2 seconds remaining in the game.  

The Jr. Stars head back to Grimsby for game 3 on Valentines day with a 3 points to 1.

Game 3: 
Happy Valentines Day!  The St. Thomas Optimist Jr. Stars travelled back to Grimsby's Peach King Centre on Valentines day for game 3 which is their 3rd in three days and the second on the road.  

The Minor PeeWee road warriors wasted no time as Aaron Hiddink converted a pass from Jake Rick less than 40 seconds into the game to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. 

Both teams provided good end to end action with both goalies standing tall until Dawson Cook hammered home a pass from Jonathan Rive and Zach Langley with 1:46 left in the second period.  The Minor PeeWee's took their 2-0 lead into the 2 minute break between the 2nd and 3rd period. 

The 2-0 lead has not been kind to the Jr. Stars this year but they were determined not to give it up on this one.  Aaron Hiddink set up Jake Rick 5 minutes into the 3rd period to get the team past the 2-0 lead.  This time Grimsby's Thomas Volz foiled Curtis Gremonprez's shutout bid with 4 minutes left when he scored an unassisted power play goal. 

The Jr. Stars headed home with a 5 points to 1 lead in the series and able to wrap up the series at home the following Saturday.

Game 4:
Needing only a tie to wrap up the quarter final series and move on to the OMHA Semi Finals - the St. Thomas Optimist Minor PeeWee Jr. Stars hosted the Grimsby Peach Kings in the 4th game of the series on Saturday February 20th. 

For the first time in the series the Peach Kings opened the scoring when Adam Kowsloski from Luke McLeod found the twine in a goal mouth scramble at the 8:33 mark of the 1st period.  Maintaining their composure and not losing sight of the task at hand the Jr. Stars drew even 6 minutes later when Brody Bell and Jake Rick set up Aaron Hiddink.  Less than a minute later Jake Rick and Sam Carmichael cycled the puck to Aaron Hiddink who fired a slap shot towards the net that was deflected into the Grimsby net.  

For the first time in the series, the second period was scoreless and the Jr. Stars took a slim 2-1 lead into the 3rd period. 

The Peach Kings drew even on a powerplay goal with just over 10 minutes left in the game when Thomas Volz set up Noah Badgeron.  Consistent with their OMHA Playdown work ethic and poise, the Jr Stars pressed for the next goal and did not disappoint.  With 7 minutes remaining, the defensive pair of Brody Bell and Preston Hathaway combined to get the puck onto the stick of Aaron Hiddink who unleashed  a howitser slap shot that the Grimsby goalie wanted no part of for a 3-2 lead and a hat trick for Hiddink.  

Grimsby was not about to give up however.  On a power play with 48 seconds left, Grimsby pulled their goalie to press for the tying goal but Jonathan Rive jumped on a neutral zone turnover and found the empty net with 21 seconds left to remove any doubt of the Jr. Stars trip to the OMHA Minor PeeWee A Semi Final round.

The Minor PeeWee Jr. Stars are awaiting the winner of the Centre Wellington and Burlington quarter final series which has been pushed to a 6th game by two evenly matched teams.

Congratulations to the Minor PeeWee Jr. Stars and welcome to the final four!!

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