Historic Night For Patriots In Game 7 WinMarch 19, 2017 1:22am
The Mount Forest Patriots are Pollock Division playoff champions in Junior C hockey after a 4-1 win over Walkerton in Game 7.
It’s the first championship for Mount Forest since 1995-96 when it was known as the Western League.
Walkerton forward Justin McCrae opened up the game’s scoring at 4:36 in the second period on the power play. A shot from the top of the face-off circle on the left side sailed over the shoulder of Mount Forest goalie Mathieu Oullette and hit the cross bar and landed just outside of the goal line and McCrae was on the door step to put it in.
But just over a minute later, Patriots forward Ostop Mostowy sped along the right wing and threw the puck to the front of the net. Troy Oakley tipped the shot just enough and it trickled into the net to tie the game at one.
The next goal didn’t come until the 14:12 of the third period. As both teams exchanged chances, Mount Forest put some pressure on late and Mostowy picked up his second point of the night. He slid behind the Walkerton net, then moved quickly around the net banking a shot of the back of Walkerton goalie Ryan Winter after a short scramble for a lose puck.
Walkerton would try to press late but the Patriots added two empty net goals, scored by Ryley Cribbin and Brendon Aitken, to seal the win.
“In a game like this, even when we are scoring, it is more about controlling your emotions. You never want to get too high or get too low,” said head coach Trent McClement. “I think our boys did a good job to keep their emotions in check.”
For goalie Mathieu Oullette, who stopped 28 of 29 shots, it was about rebounding from a poor effort in Game 6.
“Just refocus and have a bounce back game. We knew that we lost 6-0 last night (Friday). We all bounced back great, I did a lot better that’s for sure,” said Oullette.
Now the Patriots will have a few days to regroup before meeting Alliston in the Schmalz Cup Quarter-Final. Mount Forest will travel to Alliston on Wednesday for Game 1.
Patriots captain Shawn Lantz says it is uncharted territory.
“We’re inexperienced going out of our league,” says Lantz. “But our coaches and GM will work hard to get us information and we will go out there and see what happens.”
For Walkerton, it was the last game for two players.
Owen Sound’s Lachlin Elder played five season with Walkerton, compiling 256 points in 167 regular season games and 82 points in 77 playoff games. Elder also has the opportunity to skate with his younger brother Spencer for two full seasons.
Walkerton captain Connor Patton also wraps up his junior career after two seasons with the Hawks.