Both St. Marys Novice teams lost their OMHA playoff games Monday night at the PRC, but both gave a good account of themselves.
The Finnbilt ‘BB’ Novices faced off against a strong Strathroy Rockets squad.
Rockets claimed a 7-2 win, but it was a much closer game than the final score might indicate.
Strathroy opened the scoring midway through the first period and made it 2-0 with 2:30 left in the frame.
St. Marys’ best period was the middle 10 minutes. Late in the second period, Adam Turner one-timed a centring pass into the Rockets’ net to close the gap to 2-1. It was Turner’s first goal of the season, and it brought the home crowd to life. Assists went to Ryan Hodkinson and Colton Henderson.
Just 26 seconds later, Strathroy scored at the other end to restore a two-goal advantage.
But less than a minute later, Hodkinson connected with a high shot to pull St. Marys to within a goal again. Henderson earned another assist.
Rockets put the game away with four unanswered tallies in the final 15 minutes. The first came just 26 seconds into the third, when Rene VanBommel made an end-to-end dash for the visitors.
The speedy VanBommel finished the game with a hat trick, while Jack Wilson scored twice.
The final three Strathroy goals came in the last five and a half minutes, including one into an empty net when Rock coach Bill Scheuermann gambled with six attackers and his goalie pulled.
Nate Schiedel didn’t get on the scoresheet, but he was digging hard every shift all night.
With the loss, the Finnbilt Novices’ record fell to 1-2 in OMHA playoff action.
The Finnbilt Novices play their next home game against Mooretown Jr. Flags on Sunday, Feb. 1 at 1:15 p.m.
On Monday, Feb. 2, the Rock hosts Dorchester Dragons at 7 p.m.
Third-period goals the difference
The Stonetown Foodland A-E Novices also had an OMHA playoff game Monday night.
Two third-period goals proved to be the difference as Sean Porter’s squad dropped a 4-2 decision to Lambeth Lancers.
St. Marys led 1-0 after the first period on a goal by Oliver McHugh. Assists went to Griffin McGregor and Carson Brock.
The teams were deadlocked 2-2 after two periods. Scoring for the Rock was Austin DeBoer from Braedan Roth.
Lancers scored the winner midway through the third, and then added an insurance goal in the final minute.
The loss leaves the Foodland Novices with a 1-3 record in provincial playdowns.
The A-E Novices’ next action is Sunday, Feb. 1 when they travel to Lambeth for a 5:30 p.m. face-off. On Monday, Feb. 2, they host Dorchester at 6 o’clock.