Wingham Ironmen trade wins in first round of playoffs
BY DENNY SCOTT
As of Monday, the fifth-seeded Wingham Ironmen were tied with the fourth-seeded Kincardine Bulldogs in the first round of the Provincial Junior Hockey League playoffs with each team claiming a win.
The Bulldogs struck first, taking a 2-1 overtime win in Kincardine on Friday, March 11, followed by the Ironmen claiming a 2-1 win on Sunday after the game was rescheduled from Saturday night due to weather.
WINGHAM 2 KINCARDINE 1
On Sunday, the Ironmen edged out the Bulldogs 2-1 after outshooting their competition by a slim margin of 19-15 in Wingham.
After a scoreless first period, Nate Bloemberg struck first for Wingham, scoring his first goal of the year. Evan Visser and Kyle Stanbury assisted on the goal.
Kincardine’s Jeffery Fritzley evened things up just past the halfway point of the third period with a goal assisted by Carter Servais and Nolan Koetsier.
Visser gave Wingham the win with a power-play goal scored just past the 15-minute mark, assisted by Dawson Fahrer and Jonah Burley.
Devon Carson earned the win for the Ironmen, stopping 14 of 15 shots, while Joshua Jacklin was in net for the Bulldogs, stopping 17 of 19 shots.
Wingham only served three penalties, however those penalties totalled 14 minutes, while the Bulldogs served 20 minutes on six infractions.
The first penalties of the game came with less than three minutes to go in the first period. Koetsier of Kincardine and Burley of Wingham were both penalized at the same time with the former being assessed a two-minute roughing penalty and a 10-minute inciting penalty. Burley was assessed a two-minute head contact penalty and a 10-minute head contact misconduct.
Before the period ended, Kincardine’s Parker Miller would be penalized for cross checking and serve a two-minute penalty.
The only penalty of the second was called against Kincardine netminder Jacklin, who was assessed a two-minute delay of game penalty.
The third period saw Wingham’s Visser assessed a two-minute tripping penalty.
The final two penalties of the game went to Kincardine’s Koetsier with a two-minute cross checking penalty and Steven Grant with a two-minute slashing penalty.
KINCARDINE 2 WINGHAM 1
On March 11, despite being outshot 50-45, the Bulldogs scored a 2-1 overtime win over the Ironmen in Kincardine.
After a scoreless first period, Kincardine’s Gavin Gibbons broke the deadlock with a marker assisted by Gavin Downs and Koetsier.
Five minutes into the third period, Wingham’s Josh Lorenz tied the game with a power-play goal assisted by Coleson Fischer and Stanbury.
Kincardine’s Bryce McFadden would earn the win on the power-play, scoring almost 13 minutes into the first overtime period.
Kincardine’s Jacklin earned the win, stopping 49 of 50 shots, while Carson was in net for the Ironmen, stopping 43 of 45 shots.
Wingham served 10 penalty minutes over six infractions, while Kincardine served eight minutes over four.
The first penalty of the game went to Wingham’s Fahrer, who was assessed a two-minute roughing infraction in the second period.
Later in that period, an incident at the 18:52 mark saw five penalties assessed, including a game misconduct for Wingham’s Matt Tolton for removing a helmet/chinstrap. Kyle Smeltzer served the associated two-minute penalty.
Burley of Wingham served a four-minute roughing penalty, and Ryan Litt of Kincardine served a two-minute roughing call.
Kincardine netminder Jacklin was also called for roughing, though his two-minute penalty was served by Jayson Taylor.
The third period saw Kincardine’s Koetsier serve a two-minute, too-many-men penalty, followed by teammate Grant being called for high sticking and serving two minutes.
Wingham’s Trevor Klee was also called for high sticking and served the only penalty of the overtime period, during which Kincardine scored the game-winning goal.
The Ironmen were set to take on the Bulldogs in Kincardine on Tuesday, March 15 and in Wingham on Wednesday, March 16, though scores weren’t available as of press time.
Potentially the last game of the series is set for Friday, March 18 in Kincardine at 8:30 p.m., with games, if necessary, scheduled in Wingham on March 19 at 8 p.m. and in Kincardine on March 20 at 4 p.m.
The second-seeded Mitchell Hawks took a strong lead in the team’s best-of-seven series with the Goderich Flyers, earning three decisive wins in a row. On March 9, Mitchell downed Goderich 3-1, then shut-out the Flyers 4-0 on March 12. Finally, the Hawks posted a convincing 10-2 win over Goderich on March 13. The fourth, and potentially final game of the series was set for Wednesday, March 16 and a score was unavailable as of press time. If necessary, games are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The third-seeded Mount Forest Patriots took a commanding 2-0 lead in their series against the sixth-seeded Walkerton Hawks. On Wednesday, March 9, the Patriots posted a 6-0 win, followed by a 9-0 shutout on Friday, March 11. The teams were set to square off in Walkerton on Saturday, however the match was postponed.
The Hawks and Patriots were scheduled to play on Wednesday, March 16, but a score was unavailable as of press time. The fourth, and potentially final game, is set for Friday, March 18 in Walkerton with the puck to drop at 8:30 p.m. Games are also scheduled for Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20 if necessary.
The first-seeded Hanover Barons have a bye through the first round of the playoffs.
For more information, visit winghamironmen.pjhlon.hockeytech.com.