Midgets, Elmvale all even

Both teams win in OT, Game 3 Friday

By Josh Howald

What a weekend split.

Elmvale goalie Ryan Dauphen skates off the ice as Kincardine celebrates Brad Pickett's overtime game winner in Game 1 of the OMHA midget B quarter-finals in Kincardine. (Josh Howald photo)


Each team won on home ice - in overtime - and the OMHA midget B quarter-final series between Kincardine and Elmvale is all even.

Game 3 of this series will be played Friday night in Elmvale, with Game 4 to be played Saturday night at the Davidson Centre in Kincardine at 7:30 p.m. Should a fifth game be necessary, it would be played Sunday in Elmvale.

It was remarkable that Elmvale even made it to Kincardine for Saturday evening's game. The team made the trip on a bus with no heat - which took them more than five hours through blizzard and whiteout conditions - to arrive about 15 minutes before the puck dropped on Game 1.

The visitors did a reasonably good job of shaking off the bus legs, and this series was intense from the get-go. It was an extremely aggressive hockey game, particularly in the opening frame. Kincardine, however, scored the only goal of the first period - a beauty from Rhys Vollmer at 4:13. Chase Meurs assisted on the goal.

Vollmer struck again early in the second period to give Kincardine a two-goal lead. Bradley Pickett had the assist on another nice-looking goal by Vollmer.

The score remained 2-0 until 5:50 remained in the middle stanza. An Elmvale odd-man rush turned into a bit of a broken play and Nevin King got credit for the goal - an important one that made it 2-1 heading for the third. Owen King struck for the visitors early in the third period to draw Elmvale even on the scoreboard. From that point on, the Kincardine midgets controlled the play but had trouble getting good scoring chances. Elmvale has a quick, large defence corps that did a good job of keeping the Kinucks to the outside.

The score was still 2-2 at the end of regulation time. Kincardine appeared to end the overtime period a few minutes in, but the puck hit the crossbar and somehow stayed out. But just a few minutes later, Pickett picked up a loose puck near the right face-off dot and spun, firing a hard, low shot on net. Elmvale goalie Ryan Dauphen was caught standing up straight, trying to see through a crowd when the shot beat him between the legs along the ice.

Pickett's teammates mobbed him in front of the Elmvale goal, while the visitors hustled back to the bus for a trip home that couldn't have been much fun.

The next night, Kincardine headed for Elmvale for Game 2 of this series. The weather was a little better for Kincardine's drive to Elmvale - which should all even out since Elmvale won the coin flip and will play host to a Game 5, if one is necessary. Zach McLean scored twice for Elmvale and Troy Beililse added a single tally in an Elmvale 3-2 overtime win.

Elmvale advanced to this quarter-final series with a 7-3 win in points over Penetang while the midget Kinucks eliminated Listowel 6-2 in points to win the WOAA playoff title.

Despite some on-ice ferocity, these clubs have shown some solid sportsmanship. Kincardine parents gathered up blankets to send home on the Elmvale bus after Game 1. The next day prior to Game 2, it was discovered a Kincardine player had made the trip without a shin pad. One of the Elmvale coaches grabbed his shin pads from his vehicle for the player to use.

Ennismore is already waiting in a semi-final bracket for the winner of this series. Ennismore hasn't lost a game in the OMHA playoffs, with sweeps of Gananoque and Parry Sound.