Minor PeeWee Jr. Stars OMHA run ends in the Semi-Finals, News, Minor Pee Wee A, U12-U13 Travel, 2009-2010 (St. Thomas Minor Hockey)

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Minor PeeWee Jr. Stars OMHA run ends in the Semi-Finals
Submitted By lcarmichael on Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The St. Thomas Optimist Minor PeeWee Jr. Stars reached the end of their OMHA Playdown run after being swept in three games by the Burlington Eagles in their semi-final series.  All three games were decided by 1 goal, one in OT.  The boys had a great run deep into the OMHA playdowns - the farthest they have made it since their Novice year in which they lost to St. Catherines in the OMHA finals.  The boys found their stride during the OMHA Playdowns and gave their fans a great show that lasted nearly two months.  Great job boys and thanks for a great season!  Read on for a game by game summary.

The St. Thomas Optimist Jr. Stars travelled to Burlington to open their semi-final series on the road against the Burlington Eagles who had just come out of a nail bitter series against Centre Wellington.  The Jr. Stars took to the ice against the Eagles whom they have never played and the first period was used by each team to feel out their opponent.  The Jr. Stars held their own but did not display the zip that had got them to this point in the playdowns.  Nicholas Papuga, set up by Aaron Watkinson, gave Burlington the lead mid way through the second period.  Four minutes later on a power play Aaron Watkinson earned his second assist when he set up Zach Lawrence for a power play goal for a 2-0 Eagles lead.  The Minor PeeWee's continued to battle and were rewarded with just under 5 minutes to go when Dawson Cook's pass was hammered into the Burlington net by Aaron Hiddink.  The St. Thomas Optimist Jr. Stars then threw everything they had at Burlington for the remaining 4:48 but could not pot the equalizer as Burlington takes an early 2 points to 0 lead in the series.

After the 1 goal loss in the series opener the Jr. Stars were anxious to even the series on home ice.  The time of the game could have been better as Canada was in the midst of earning their hockey gold.  The Jr. Stars showed a lot more enthusiasm than they had the night before in Burlington.  They generated several great scoring chances only to be thwarted by the Burlington keeper or the iron behind him.  The back and forth play was exciting to watch but at the end of 3 periods the score still stood at 0-0.  As did their Team Canada heroes, the Jr. Stars took their opponent to overtime.   Overtime was no less exciting with both teams going for the win and not a single point.  Unlike their Team Canada heroes, OT was not to be kind to the Jr. Stars on this day.  Burlington's Zach Lawrence netted his second game winner in as many games as he skated into the slot and buried a loose puck for the OT winner.  All of the Jr. Stars played inspired and sprited hockey and goalie Curtis Gremonprez made several game saving saves - but in the end Burlington drove home with a 4 points to 0 stranglehold in the series while St. Thomas was left to scratch their heads while watching the Team Canada OT victory.

With their season on the line St. Thomas travelled back to Burlington on a Friday night, a game time that has not been kind to the boys this year.  After inspiring pre-game speeches from Coaches Cook and Langley, the boys were ready to work themselves back into the series.  As in the first two games these evenly matched teams generated another barn burner.  A scoreless tie was taken into the third period.  Once again the Burlington team capitalized on a power play opportunity with 9 minutes left in the third period for a 1-0 lead.  Not giving up on their season every member of the Jr. Stars buckled down on the ice and off as the players not on the ice cheered on the players on the ice.  Curtis Gremonprez turned in his second solid performance of the series between the pipes.  Once again the Minor PeeWee Jr. Stars threw everything they had at the Burlington team.  The final minutes of their season was filled with exciting scoring chances and many near misses. But, in the end, they could not find the back of the Burlington net and their season ended with the third one goal loss in a row. 

The boys had a great OMHA playdown run and gave all of the parents, fans and coaches even more great memories.   As with all teams every member plays an important part.  Not all of the great moments are captured on the game sheet nor in newspaper and web articles.  So, for the last post of the season the writer would like to acknowledge, and thank, all of the players for their hard work, great plays and memorable moments:  Justin McDonald, Curtis Gremonprez, Carter Ostojic, Brody Bell, Jonathan Rive, Kyle Luyt, Matthew Crump, Zach Langley, Dawson Cook, Sam Carmichael, Austin McIntee, Mackenzie Parkin, Aidan Barry, Jake Rick, Aaron Hididnk and Preston Hathaway.

Thanks for a great season - Great job boys!
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