Optimist Club Novice Shamrocks win MPS Playoff Championship!, News, Optimist Club Novices, 2016-2017 (Parry Sound Hockey Club)

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Optimist Club Novice Shamrocks win MPS Playoff Championship!
Submitted By novice2 on Wed 01 25, 17
The Parry Sound Optimist Club Novice Shamrocks had a very successful weekend at the MPS Playoffs this past weekend. For the Novices, this tournament was extremely important as it would ultimately decide their fate in the setup of the upcoming play downs.

Game one on Friday night was the first of four games in round robin play where the Shamrocks faced Muskoka Rock at the Humphrey arena. The Shamrocks started out strong with Gavin Priaulx starting the scoring with the only goal in the first period. Michael Murphy would follow and contribute a hat-trick for the Shamrocks in the the second period. Lewis Hergaarden also scored in the second to give the Shamrocks a 5-0 lead heading into the final period. In the third, goals were scored by Gavin Priaulx, Rowan Buckland and TJ Hergaarden. Despite a strong effort by Muskoka Rock and a late third period goal by their forward Aidan Strength, the Shamrocks took the victory 8-1.

On Saturday morning all teams traveled to Port Carling where the Shamrocks first defeated the Haliburton Storm by a score of 5-1 with goals scored by Ben Kearns, Fin Gilbert, and Lewis Hergaarden (3G). The second game of the day would prove to be a tough one, with the Shamrocks taking on the South Muskoka Bears who they had net yet beaten during the regular season. The Shamrocks would get on the board first with a goal late in the first period by Lewis Hergaarden from Ben Kearns. The Shamrocks strong fore check allowed them to hold the lead throughout the second, but the Bears would come out strong early in the third period tying it up. Both teams battled for the puck trying to steal the game winner but the game went into overtime.  After nearly 8 minutes of 3 on 3 play, including a 2 man disadvantage, the Bears eventually found the back of the net and took the win 2-1.

On Sunday, the Shamrocks faced their final round robin opponent, the Huntsville Otters. In order to secure a spot in the finals the Shamrocks knew they needed to win this game, and that would not be easy given that they went 2-2 with Huntsville in the regular season. The Shamrocks started strong with two goals in period one (Nathan Heimes, Lewis Hergaarden) and kept this lead with a scoreless second period. The Otters brought their A game though and came back in the third period with two goals to tie it up. With 4 minutes left on the clock, Shamrocks forward Gavin Priaulx found the back of the net to score the game winning goal!

The boys were now guaranteed a spot in the A division final in a rematch against their toughest challenger, the South Muskoka Bears. Looking for their first win against this team all year they knew this wasn't going to be an easy feat, but with the loudest and greenest fans in the stands they certainly had no lack of community support! Both teams fought hard in the first period but failed to score. Early into the second period, Riley Blower fought for the puck behind the net and passed it out in front to Lucas Henry who ripped off a beauty shot and scored to give the Shamrocks the 1-0 lead. South Muskoka struggled to get past the strong Shamrock defence, and were quickly dismissed by Shamrock Goaltender Orion Cooper who made some amazing saves in this game. With only 1:50 left on the clock the referee called a tripping penalty on the Shamrocks. The Bears pulled their goaltender and the Shamrocks now found themselves down two men for the final two minutes. After a Shamrock timeout (and what one can only imagine was the coaches speech of the season so far!) the Shamrocks came out strong, held their end and shut out the South Muskoka Bears to win the MPS Playoff Championships for the first time in 10 years!

This was a big win for the players and coaches who all worked extremely hard all season! Their dedication to the team's success is evident and overwhelming. A big thank you to Muskoka Rock for hosting this year's MPS Championships and to all the volunteers who make this tournament possible.

Winning the MPS Playoff Championship gave Optimist Club Novices the bye through the first round. During this time they will continue to train, await their fate, and then face the winner of the series between Huntsville and South Muskoka in the second round of the MPS playdowns which will get underway in early February. Stay tuned for dates and please come out and cheer them on!
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Printed from parrysoundhockeyclub.com on Thursday, August 18, 2022 at 4:07 AM