Jr. Grads add
OEMHL championship to regular season title
By Fred Sherwin
It took them
seven games to do it, but the Cumberland Jr. Grads have finally captured
the Ontario East Minor Hockey League Major Atom AA championship after downing
a stubborn Ottawa Valley Titans team 2-1 at the Ray Friel Centre on Monday
The Jr. Grads
were up 6-2 in the first to seven points series at one point before the
Titans manufactured back-to-back wins on the weekend to force a seventh
and deciding game.
In Monday nights
winner take all rubber match, the Jr. Grads managed to draw first blood
with a goal early in the first period off the stick of Jordan Pedlar who
was set up on the play by Nicholas Lapointe.
to take a 2-0 lead several minutes later off a scramble in front of the
net, but the referee never saw the puck cross the goal line and the score
One of the key
moments in the game came midway through the opening period when a pair of
Jr. Grads were sent off on back-to-back penalties which gave the Titans
a two man advantage for nearly two full minutes. Try as they might, however,
the Ottawa Valley team could not manage any sort of sustained pressure against
Cumberland's aggressive penalty kill and the threat passed without any damage
It wasn't until
the final minute of the period that the Titans finally managed to get on
the scoreboard on a shot from Tye Felhaber that squeaked past Jr. Grads'
goalie Miguel D'Aoust. It would be the only goal the young netminder would
let in the entire game.
After the two
teams switched ends, the Jr. Grads swarmed the Titans' zone in the opening
moments of the second period which resulted in a goal by Marc Bertrand just
one minute and 29 seconds after play had resumed.
The play was
set up by Jr. Grads captain Cole Carter who corralled the puck off a scramble
in front of the net and threw it back to Bertrand who fired a blistering
shot from the point that just caught the inside of the post. It was the
young defenceman's first and only goal of the season and it would prove
to be the game winner.
everything the Titans threw at him the rest of the way in picking up the
win including a number of difficult saves in the final 1:45 of the game
which was almost entirely played in the Jr. Grads end after the Titans had
pulled their goalie for an extra attacker.
The Jr. Grads
can now add the OEMHL championship banner to their regular season banner
they earned for finishing in first place.
The win was especially
sweet for the D'Aoust, who was handcuffed on the game winning goal in the
Jr. Grads 3-2 loss to the Titans on Sunday that forced the seventh game.
Pedlar led the
way offensively for the Jr. Grads in the final series with six goals and
four assists, while Carter contributed four goals and three assists. In
16 playoff games the pair scored 22 goals between them.
Jr. Grads head
coach Mike Carter was especially happy for D'Aoust who managed to bounce
back from Sunday's defeat with flying colours.
is a fierce competitor and I knew he'd come back to play in Game 7 with
his game face on. He let in the one goal but it was a dandy, so you can't
fault him for that and he managed to keep the puck out of the net in the
final minute and 45 seconds to preserve the win," said Carter. "Our
motto is 'We are one' and that's how we played. There are no individuals
on the team. In the end it came down to a guy who hadn't scored all season
and he unloaded a canon."
the regular season in first place and winning the OEMHL championship, the
Jr. Grads also won three tournaments this season including the Oktoberfest
Atom Tournament in Kitchener-Waterloo in October and the CAN/AM Challenge
Cup in Lake Placid in December.
Marc Bertrand, Nicholas Lapointe, Cole Carter, Jordan Pedlar, Miguel D'Aoust,
Brady McNeely, Tyler Baker, Brendan Farris, Maxime Jolicoeur, Tyler Griffin,
Brayden Laidlaw, Eric Duguay, Samuel Gaudet, Nicolas Mattinen, Joshua Bourdeau
and Mitchell Chatterjee. Head Coach Mike Carter, Ass't Coach Michel Gaudet,
Ass't Coach Jeff Baker, Manager Vicki Lapointe, Trainers Glen Farris and
p.m., March 31)
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