Americans done for the season

March 6, 2014   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

Americans Final2webThe Orangeville Americans are finished for the season after losing game four of their best-of- five round one series to the Alliston Coyotes.

The Americans won game one of the series on February 19, with a 4-3 home ice win at the Alder Street arena in their bid to move ahead in the Greater Metro Hockey League playoffs.

The series was tied at one when the Coyotes took game two with a single goal lead leaving the ice with a 7-6 win.

Game three in Alliston gave the Coyotes and edge when they won 5-3 to lead the series 2-1 and that set the stage for game four back on Orangeville home ice.

Coming onto the ice for an afternoon game in Orangeville on Monday, February 24, the Americans had to win to keep the series alive.

Opening the game with a goal from Mike Kurek in the first period, the game was tied at one when Alliston scored early in the second period.

From there, the game was wide open with the Americans scoring two in the second frame, to five from the Alliston squad.

That made it a 5-3 game going into the final 20 minutes.

O-ville challenged with a powerplay goal from Christian Tyson at the 2:52 mark in the third.

Americans forward Kurt Schmidt made good on a penalty shot midway in the third period after he was pulled down on a break-away, and the game was 6-5 with just over eight minutes left on the clock.

A Coyotes goal late in the period followed by an empty netter sealed the deal for the Coyotes and the series was over.

“We had a great season,” Said Americans head coach Tyler Fines after the final game. “We had a young team, unfortunately we couldn’t keep the puck out of our net. We scored a lot of goals, unfortunately defence was hurting us a bit. We played hard. I think the guys just have to learn a bit of sacrifice – it’s a word I use. They’re a young group. Some of them don’t understand what it takes to play Junior playoffs. I think that’s what they’re going to take from this. Guys who need to lay down and block shots, get sticks in the leg – things that help your team win.”

The squad had a good season finishing with a 25-17 record and a eighth place finish in the 20 team GMHL. They improved steadily as the season went on.

“We get to skate every day so we got better in that aspect. We relied on a lot of over-agers to contribute. I think next year we’ll bring our young guys back and they’ll hopefully contribute. It comes down to their work ethic and practice. That’s what will make us better.”

The series turned into a rough one, and there were some incidents that spilled into the stands.

“I’m disappointed. I usually don’t say much about other clubs – congratulations to them – I don’t like the way they won this series. I’m disappointed with the actions of a few of the staff on the other side as well as some of the unsportsmanlike play during the actual game. Maybe that’s sour grapes but at the same time I play this game hard and we play to win and we play the right way. It is what it is. I’ll run my club the same way we’ve run the last three years – and that’s with class and hard work and dedication.”

Eight teams in the GMHL will now move on to round two of the playoffs.

The Alliston Coyotes went to the next round against the Bradford Bulls but lost that series in three games are now out for the sesaon.

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