Sunday, January 03, 2010
Team Ontario's Winning Ways
The Ontario team continued its winning ways at the World Under 17 Hockey Tournament in Timmins Saturday night. With the mercury nearing the minus 40 degrees mark, Celsius, the boys from the Ontario Hockey League defeated Team West 5-2 to move to a semi final game against Russia Sunday night. Actually, there are two players on the team who do not play in the OHL: Chris Festarini a goalie from Port Colborne, and Lucas Lessio from the St. Michael's Buzzers of the Central Canada Junior Hockey League.
Alan Quine, of the Kingston Frontenacs, was the game's Most Valuable Player for Team Ontario. Jesse Forsberg copped the honour for Team West.
Team West opened the scoring following a bit of sloppy play in the Ontario zone. Boston Leier jammed the puck past the Belleville Bulls' Tyson Teichmann, assisted Chad`Robinson.
Team Ontario responded with a well-screened goal by Ben Thompson. Quine assisted on the tally.
Teichmann faced few challenges in the first two periods, as Team Ontario outshot their opponents 25-7. In the third period, the boys from the West had an upper hand with their aggressive play. One shot clanked off the right post behind Teichmann when the score was 4-2 for Ontario, certainly a turning point in the game.
Ryan Strome put the game away with the final goal on a fine long pass from defenceman Stuart Percy.
Coach Jakes Grimes speculated that he had his hands full before the game started. "I knew they were going to play desperate hockey. I planned to have the guys adapt, and respond early to the pressure.
I was really pleased with Quine's line. Thompson and Strome contributed as well, and that was critical. Our plan was to come up with four lines which were a threat on offense, but good defensively."
At the conclusion of our interview, an aid whispered to Grimes that the Belleville Bulls had defeated the Kingston Frontenacs in overtime.
Grimes smiled at the news. Yet another hat he has to wear, as the assistant coach of the Bulls. In the meantime, he has a couple of important pieces of business to take care of before he heads south. A semi-final Sunday, and, hopefully, a final on Monday night.