Volume 12 Week 5

Sunday, Oct. 22


 

Posted Oct. 11

Posted Sept. 21

Updated Feb. 4

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney

 

 

 

 

Minor Hockey
Bantam AA Rangers clinch first place with win over Jr. Grads
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Cumberland Jr. Grads goalie Breant Nolan peers over his shoulder into the back of the net on Andrew Bourke's game winning goal in the Gloucester Rqangers 5-4 win over the Jr. Grads Wednesday night. Fred Sherwin/Photo


 

After losing in the final of the International Silver Stick Tournament in Port Huron, Michigan on the weekend, the Major Bantam AA Gloucester Rangers rebounded to clinch first place in the Ontario East Minor Hockey League with an exciting 5-4 win over the Cumberland Jr. Grads Wednesday night.

Andrew Bourke was the hero of the hour, scoring three goals, including the game winner with just under a minute left in the third period, to propel his team to victory.

Nick Jessome and Justin Brennan scored the team's other two goals, while Aiden Cannell had two goals for the Jr. Grads who also got goals from Billy Denham and Suraj Bali.

The Rangers went into the game needing a win or a tie to clinch first place. The Jr. Grads trailed the Rangers by two points with two games left against each other.

Despite being outplayed in the early going, the Jr. Grads drew first blood when Denham skated out from the corner and slid a shot past Rangers goaltender Ben MacDonald at the 7:05 mark of the first period.

The Rangers responded two minutes later when Bourke managed to squeeze a shot between Jr. Grads netminder Brent Nolan's left pad and the left goal post.

Jessome gave the Rangers their first lead of the game on a shot that appeared to deflect off Nolan's blocker into the side of the net

With less than two minutes left in the opening period, Rangers forward Alyn MacLennan was sent off with a double minor for butt-ending. Gloucester's penelty-killing did a good job keeping the Jr. Grads power play at bay until Cannell scored on what looked like a harmless slapshot from just inside the blueline with 1.7 seconds left.

The Rangers retook the lead at the 12:35 mark of the second period when Bourke managed to tuck the puck it under a diving MacDonald.

The Jr. Grads tied the game at three goals a piece with 5:19 left in the period when Baji was assessed a penalty shot after breing brought down on a breakaway.

The game remained tied until the 5:16 mark of the third period when Brennan scored on a slap shot from the right point that beat Nolan stick side.

The Jr. Grads tied the game just under a minute later when a long rebound came out to Cannell who buried it into the back of the net on a shot from the high slot.

The game appeared to be heading for a tie when Bourke completed his hat trick on a shot that eluded Nolan's trapper. After the win, the Rangers posed for pictures with the first place banner.

Rangers head coach Tim Oshier was glad his team took care of business when they had the chance. Now they can focus on finishing out the rest of the season and focusing on the playoffs which start next weekend.

"I think we have a good chance (of winning the championship). If we play our game and focus on the things that brought us here," said Oshier.

Probably the biggest thing the Rangers have going for them is their health. After battling injuries all season long they are finally healthy, or at least they will be when Jeremy Barrie returns to the lineup on the weekend after sitting out with a broken collar bone.

The Gloucester Rangers pose for a picture with the championship banner after clinching first plance in the OEMHL Wednesday night. Fred Sherwin/Photo

 

(Posted 7:30 a.m., Feb. 2)

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