Scheel goal clinches Buckland Cup

OOJHL title for Kincardine duo in Trenton

By Josh Howald

Ben Scheel and Ethan Skinner are Buckland Cup champions.

Ben Scheel, seen here in Game 4 of the Buckland Cup in Georgetown, scored the game winning goal in Game 5 to clinch the Buckland Cup for the Trenton Golden Hawks. (Josh Howald photo)

Scheel scored in the third period of Game 5 of the Ontario Junior Hockey League finals Friday night to give the Trenton Golden Hawks a 2-1 win over the Georgetown Raiders. The win clinched Trenton's first junior hockey championship since 1980.

Scheel couldn't have picked a better time to score his first goal of the postseason.

His Golden Hawks were tied 1-1 with the Georgetown Raiders Friday night after two periods of Game 5.

"Nick Boddy has a play when there is no clear lane to take a shot off the end boards so it pops back out," said Scheel. "I saw it might happen and the puck bounced right to me. It was the biggest goal I have ever scored, that's for sure."

The goal came 2:16 into the third period. The Golden Hawks just had to hang on from there.

"It was a pretty long 17 minutes," laughed Scheel. "But I was confident we would hang on, we are pretty solid defensively."

The Golden Hawks are, indeed. Trenton allowed just 29 goals in 18 postseason contests. The team's playoff record was 16-1-0-1.

"It has been incredible. This is the tightest knit group I have ever played with," said Scheel, who was at his parents’ home in Kincardine on Monday.

The players were given a couple of days off before preparation for the Dudley Hewitt Cup. The qualifying tournament for the RBC Cup national championship tournament begins on May 3 in Kirkland Lake.

"Everybody has their own little thing they bring, it is almost like we have an extra guy on the ice sometimes. We were pretty efficient in the playoffs. We don't have a superstar who will score three for us every night, but we have wave after wave of defensive pressure."

Trenton's "brotherhood" as the players call it also includes Kincardine's Ethan Skinner. While Scheel was acquired by Trenton in the off-season, Skinner was just scooped up for this playoff run. Skinner led the Elmira SugarKings in scoring this season, and was fifth overall in Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League scoring with 24 goals and 84 points. Skinner is a proven winner. One year ago, he scored three times in Game 5 of the Cherrey Cup finals to help Elmira clinch a Midwestern Conference championship. It was only after his SugarKings were knocked out of the GOJHL playoffs did Skinner join the Golden Hawks.

Ethan Skinner fires a shot on goal in Game 4 of the Buckland Cup in Georgetown Wednesday evening. (Josh Howald photo)


"Skinny fit in right away," said Scheel. "I'm sure it was a bit easier for him coming in knowing me, but either way it wouldn't have been tough. All the boys are welcoming, and he is a pretty easy guy to get along with. It was the same way with (Trenton's other affiliate call-up) Carson Brookshaw."

Skinner arrived in time to play Trenton's final semi-final game against Kingston, and then played in all of the five games of the OJHL finals against Georgetown. He had an assist in the opening game of the series and another helper in Game 2.

Both Scheel and Skinner played minor hockey in Kincardine, as well as for the Grey-Bruce AAA Highlanders program.

They had a couple of days off, but will be back on the road again shortly. The Golden Hawks will take on the Soo Thunderbirds in the first game of the tournament on May 3. On May 4, Trenton will play the host Kirkland Lake Gold Miners and then wrap up the preliminary portion of the tournament against the Fort Frances Lakers May 5.

"We just have to prepare properly and stay focused. We know what got us to this point, so it will be just sticking with the plan," said Scheel.

"It is why I think we will have success at the Dudley Hewitt Cup as well."

Last season, Kincardine's Ryker Killins won the Dudley Hewitt Cup with the Carleton Place Canadiens. He spent this season in the NCAA after losing in the RBC Cup final last year.

The Kincardine Independent will continue to track Scheel, Skinner and the Trenton Golden Hawks through the Dudley Hewitt Cup.