Jr A Flyers shut down first place Trenton

October 14, 2015   ·   0 Comments

Photo by Brian Lockhart

Photo by Brian Lockhart

By Brian Lockhart

3-1 win in Saturday’s home game

The Orangeville Junior A Flyers had one of their best games of the season Saturday night when they upset the, until then undefeated, first place Trenton Golden Hawks at the Alder Street arena.

The Golden Hawks were on a 12 game winning streak before Saturday’s game but a strong O-ville defence turned it up a notch and kept the Trenton squad struggling in front of the Flyers net allowing only one goal for the game. The Golden Hawks have average 4.2 goals per game this season.

“They’re (Trenton) ranked the number one Junior A team in Canada, not just in our League but in Canada,” Said an obviously elated Flyers head coach Jamie Caruso after his team stepped up to take the win from the top team.

After a scoreless first period, the Golden Hawks opened the scoring at 5:58 into the second frame.

The third period got real interesting when O-ville’s Lucas Smilsky hit the back of the Trenton net early in the frame to make it a tie game.

Just over three minutes later the Flyers were in the lead on a goal from Ethan Wiseman.

A one goal lead with 12 minutes remaining is not even close to being a sure thing in hockey and the Flyers worked hard to keep the Golden Hawks out of their defensive zone.

The coup de grace came at the 16:15 mark when Connor Stack took the puck into the Trenton zone then did a wrap around the net to make the pass to Lucas Smilsky who caught the Gold- en Hawks goalie on the short side.

The Hawks did what they had to for the remaining four minutes to keep the Golden Hawks buried.

“We knew we were over-matched. We were just going to try to weather the storm,” Caruso said after the win. “They’re a good team. They’re old – they have all 19 and 20 year-olds. We told our guys you have to be sharp on your assignments but keep the game close because you’re not going to win the game in the first period but you could certainly lose it, so our guys stuck to our game plan. Even though we were down by one we still felt we had a chance to win.”

Caruso said good defensive posturing kept the Golden Hawks from find- ing opportunities in front of the Orangeville net.

“They really didn’t have a lot of good scoring chances tonight because our guys were back-checking, we stuck to the game plan which is to take away their ice. It was a commitment by everyone. The forwards were back-checking and the D were getting the puck out of danger which was what we asked them to do.”

With a one-goal lead, Caruso said the plan was to keep the puck out of the O-ville end.

“Limit their chances,” He said of the strategy. “Any chance we get to get the puck out of our zone, you’ve got to get it out, and chance you get to get it deep – you get it deep.”
With a two goal lead in the final minutes of the game and six Trenton attackers on the ice, Caruso said “Don’t look for an empty net goal unless it’s there. Just worry about getting the puck out. A two goal lead with two minutes left is enough time to lose it.”

The win comes at a good time for the squad who took a couple of recent losses.

“I’ve been happy (with the team) from day one. We lost our last two games but we actually played good, we just haven’t been able to score. To- night, (we beat) the best team in Canada, and these young Flyers never cease to amaze me. We’ve got a lot to work with here. I just wish the town would come out more to support them.”

The Flyers have a regular fan base but in a town the size of Orangeville a Junior A level team should have more fans in the stands to support the local Junior team. You won’t find a better brand of hockey in the region.

After Saturday, the squad has a 7-3-1 record after 11 games.
The Flyers will return to home ice this Saturday, October 17, to host the Burlington Cougars.

Game time is 7:00 p.m. at the Alder Street arena.

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