Wolves clinch spot in A semi-finals

7-3 wins for Ripley on the weekend

By Josh Howald

The Ripley Wolves have clinched a spot in the WOAA Senior A semi-finals.

Ripley posted a pair of 7-3 wins on the weekend, which guarantees a top four spot in the six-team Senior A playoff round robin. The Wolves are actually at the top of the standings with a 3-1 record, with one game left to play. Milverton and Shallow Lake have also secured semi-final berths, leaving three teams battling for the fourth and final spot.

Friday night in Ripley, the Wolves scored four times in the third period to pull away from Milverton.

Andrew Tapsell opened the scoring for the visitors, but Jordan Turcotte replied for the Wolves four minutes later from Drew Davidson. Travis Van Gaver scored on a Ripley power play early in the second period from Nick Locking and Mark Stanley, only to see the Drives tie the game less than two minutes later. Mike Terrien scored the goal. Van Gaver scored his second of the period to give Ripley a 3-2 lead at the second intermission. Jeremy McQuillin and Locking assisted on the goal. McQuillin then sparked the third period outburst, scoring from Van Gaver and Locking. One minute later, Turcotte scored from Brett Catto and Cody Britton to make it 5-2. With six minutes left and Ripley killing a penalty, Catto set up McQuillin to give the Wolves a four-goal lead. Dan Rhame made it 6-3, but David Jones put the game away, scoring with 1:20 left on the clock. Catto also assisted on the Jones goal.

Kurt Edwards made 33 saves in net for Ripley, while Chad Nelson had 30 stops for the 4-Wheel Drives.

The next night, Locking had a four-goal game as the Wolves pasted Shelburne 7-3 at home.

Stanley, Davidson and Catto also each scored for Ripley, while Van Gaver had three assists in the win. Nine other players found the score sheet Saturday night with single assists - McQuillin, Tim Dwinnell, Turcotte, Paul Stewart, Britton, Davidson, Jordan Cale and Brian Stanley.

This game was 3-2 for Ripley after one period and 6-3 at the second break. Mike Spearing had two goals for the Muskies, both on Shelburne power plays. The other Muskies goal came with the Fish shorthanded. The loss knocks Shelburne to last in the round robin standings with a 1-4 record.

The final semi-final spot is basically a two-horse race between the Huron East Centenaires and the Lucknow Lancers. The Lancers have three games remaining to play, including one on Sunday in Ripley. The puck drops at 3:30 p.m. in the village, for what will be the Wolves' final tune-up before starting a best-of-seven series with Shallow Lake, Milverton, Huron East or Lucknow.

In the WOAA Senior AA playoffs, the North Division finals have been set. The Elora Rocks will meet the Mapleton-Minto 81s after both clubs advanced from their respective series with Game 6 wins over the weekend. Elora knocked off first place Durham, while the 81's eliminated the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks. In the WOAA South, the Tillsonburg Thunder is waiting for an opponent after sweeping the Clinton Radars in four straight games. The Thunder will face either Tavistock or Petrolia. Tavistock held a 3-2 series heading into Game 6 Monday night.