OJHL West Division Week 19 Review
Playoffs, playoffs, playoffs that is what the games are about now. Every game that features Buffalo, Milton or Georgetown seems to have seeding implications. Buffalo stumbled this week blowing a 2 goal lead to Hamilton and losing in the shootout. Georgetown on the other hand picked up 3 huge non divisional wins while Milton was able to get a split in its 2 games. With only 4 weeks left in the regular season neither of these teams can afford a night off.
Game of the Week Review
Whitby @ Milton
An important game for the Icehawks as they try to hold off the hard charging Georgetown Raiders as well as a host of teams from the South division in their fight for home ice advantage in the 1st round of the playoffs. Whitby came into this game with a new GM as well as a fantastic record and would prove to be a great match for the Icehawks
The first period started and with the help of an early power play Whitby was controlling the play. Shortly after the penalty expired Milton was able to strike as Jeremy Gottzmann found the back of the net with an assist to Shane Bennett. Whitby would be able to strike back with their own former OHLer as Ryan Kirkup added his 14th goal of the season. Milton would get their first power play opportunity with less than a minute to go in the 1st but were unable to cash and they skated into the intermission tied at 1 goal apiece.
Milton was unable to convert the rest of their power play at the start of the period and soon found themselves with a man in the penalty box. With Kane Elliot in the box for roughing the Icehawks went out on the pentalty kill and in 17 seconds Shane Bennett had given the team the lead with an assist to Jeremy Gottzmann and Stephan Templeton. Whitby though continued to show their never die attituted and would tie up this game once again 4 minutes later only to have Milton strike quickly again less than a minute later and the score was 3-2 in favour of the home side. It seemed like these two teams may have headed to the dressing room with that score but with just under 5 to go Johnathan O’Hara would tie things up in this see-saw matchup and we would once again head into an intermission tied this time at 3’s
The third period was a choppy one due to 7 minor penalties that lead to 5 different power plays. Niether team was able to capitalize on their chances as Ben Blacker for Milton and Boyd Diclemente for Whitby both stood on their heads. For the third consecutive period the Fury would hold the shot advantage and through 60 minutes lead on the shot clock by a total of 41-29.
Overtime was more of the same as Whitby jumped out and was able to get the first to shots on Ben Blacker but those saves would prove to be huge as Kane Elliot would put the first Milton shot of extra time in the back of the net. The 4-3 win would prove extra-large for Milton as the Georgetown Raiders were able to skate into Aurora Friday night and steal 2 points from the home team.
West Division 3 Stars
1)Steve Hladin (Geo)
Back to back 4 goal games this weekend helped Hladin lock up the 1st star honours. First with 4 goals and 1 assist on Saturday night and then 4 goals and 2 assists on Sunday night for an 11 point weekend.
2)Michael McNiven (Geo)
Picked up 3 wins in 3 starts this weekend and outside of the Sunday scorefest in Toronto he was on top of his game. Helped lead Georgetown to a huge road win in Aurora Friday before picking up his 5th shutout of the season on Saturday against Toronto.
3)Jeremy Gottzmann (Mil)
Currently on a 16 game point streak with 11 of those games being of the multi-point variety, Jeremy added 3 goals and 4 assists to his season totals as Milton picked up a weekend split.
Rookie of the Week
Adam Mascherin (Geo)
The ’98 born AP from the MM Vaughan Kings was called up Sunday night for his second taste of OJHL action. After scoring 2 goals in his debut in October there was a buzz at what he would do for an encore. Well all he did was put up 1 goal and 5 assists to help Georgetown pull out a 7-6 win in the second half of a home and home with the Toronto Jr Canadians.
Team of the Week
The weekend started off with a bang on when Georgetown picked up a big 2-1 road win in Aurora. The followed that up with a 6-0 home win against Toronto and a 7-6 road win against the very same Jr Canadians. Georgetown now trails Milton by only 1 point with 2 games in hand as the race for 1st round home ice starts to get white hot.
Honourable mention: Milton Icehawks
Game of the Week Preview
Georgetown Raiders @ Milton Icehawks Friday January 31st
This is the 3rd time these two heated northern Halton rivals will face off this season. Milton got things started with a 2-1 OT victory while Georgetown followed up by taking Milton to the woodshed in an 8-1 whitewashing. With these two teams side by side in the standings this should be a fantastically hard fought match up. Each team has new additions since they last meet so it will be interesting to see how this one plays out.