Midgets win McMillan Memorial

Section: 
Sports

By Josh Howald

The Kincardine midgets have a flair for the dramatic.

Connor Gibson, left, moves past a falling Saugeen Shores defender Troy Lourneyea in the final of the Archie McMillan Memorial tournament on Sunday afternoon at the Davidson Centre. (Josh Howald photo)

 

The Miller Insurance midget Kinucks captured the Archie McMillan Memorial midget tournament title Sunday afternoon on home ice, but certainly flirted with danger down the homestretch.

Kincardine had control of this contest until the dying minutes, when a string of penalties left the Kinucks down two men and scrambling. The Kinucks hit a goalpost themselves with 40 seconds to play with a shorthanded breakaway chance.

"We had to keep it exciting," joked head coach Cory Hamilton following his team's win.

No doubt it was an exciting game that capped off the annual McMillan tournament at the Davidson Centre.

Kincardine met Saugeen Shores in the tournament final, and the teams played scoreless hockey until late in the second period. Riley Cherrette found the net with a well-placed wrist shot from the slot for the game's first goal. Ryan Thede and captain Rhys Vollmer assisted on the tally.

Then, 33 seconds later a bizarre goal gave Kincardine a 2-0 lead. A face-off in the Saugeen Shores end was cleanly won by the visiting centreman. There was no defender to pick the puck up, however, and somehow it worked its way between the legs of Storm goaltender Cam Plante. Kincardine's Connor Gibson got credit for the goal.

Saugeen Shores atoned for the slip immediately. Trevor Donaldson scored with a nice shot from close range, freezing goalie Jamie Brock and flipping one just over and out of his reach. That made it 2-1 heading for the third period.

Gibson restored a two-goal lead for the midgets before the ice was hardly dry from the second intermission flood. Chase Meurs and Vollmer assisted on the eventual game-winner.

It was a physical, hard-hitting contest between the teams. However, it remained fairly clean but a string of penalties ended up costing the Kinucks. Saugeen Shores got a nice bounce on a late power play that went off the end boards, a stick and the back of Brock to make it 3-2. That gave Kincardine, playing two men short, a bit of a scare but some excellent penalty killing and some big stops by Brock preserved the win for the Kinucks.

Kincardine had opened the tournament with a 4-1 win over last year's tournament champions from Goderich. Saturday morning the Kinucks hammered on Shallow Lake 8-0 and later that day Kincardine shut out Petrolia 3-0. That moved them along to a semi-final game against BCH, which they won 4-2.

Saugeen Shores, meanwhile, advanced to the final with a 2-0 win over Petrolia in the other semi-final.

Twin Centre captured the tournament's B Division championship with a narrow 1-0 win over St. Mary's.

This weekend, Petrolia will get another crack at Kincardine when the teams meet in a Friday night contest in Strathroy to open tournament action there.

Next regular season game for the Kinucks is Nov. 2 at home against Hanover.