Article by I. Schoonderbeek & N. Schoonderbeek/Media by C. Archer & N. Schoonderbeek
Now it’s time to play the games that matter…
The Clarington Eagles finished off the round-robin portion of the Schmalz Cup final tournament with a 4-0 victory over the Lakeshore Canadiens Friday evening in Woodstock. The win for Clarington secures the second seed, resulting in a semi-final matchup with the Stayner Siskins Saturday evening.
It was largely an uneventful first period, despite the Eagles carrying the majority of play. After a morning spent traveling to the host city, both teams seemed content to play the period relatively safe while getting accustomed to the Olympic-sized ice surface.
“All these teams play all year on normal slates,” said head coach Dean Baumhauer. “It’s bigger ice, so that’s especially new for the goalies, with different angles.”
It appeared the clubs would be heading to the dressing rooms scoreless after one period; however, with under 10 seconds to play and a faceoff to the right of the Lakeshore goalie, Eagles captain Dawson Manning chose to tip the puck forward on the draw. Manning stepped around the Canadiens center and fed a perfect pass to Jordan Shaw at the far post to break the tie with 5.8 seconds left on the clock.
Jordan Shaw gives the @EaglesPJHL a 1-0 lead with 5 seconds left in the period. Here’s the goal and Shaw’s interview with @Alec_M_Media during the intermission. #LocalSports #PJHL #519Playoffs @LCanadiens @play_the_pj pic.twitter.com/qjET6ZDJh0
— 519 Sports Online (@519sportsonline) May 13, 2023
The Eagles would extend their lead early in the second. With Shaw in the box serving a 2-minute minor, Manning took advantage of a poor breakout pass attempt to keep the puck in the Lakeshore zone. He quickly found Mitch Davies alone in front who made no mistake burying a shot past the Canadiens netminder.
First goal by Mitch Davies in the second period:
Mitch would strike again before the period was up. After Clarington forced a turnover in the Lakeshore zone, winger Kolby Poulin recovered the puck and swooped in behind the goal before feeding a perfect goalmouth pass to Davies for a tap-in to extend the Eagles’ lead to 3-0.
Second goal by Mitch Davies in the second period:
“He’s got lots of shake and bake,” said Eagles’ president Kirk Kemp after Mitch’s second goal. “He could have had a third in that period. He’s having a great game.”
The Eagles would add one more in the third when Adam Klaas muscled the puck to the front of the net. Klaas’s low shot was turned away, but Hayes Bell, who was singled out by head coach Dean Baumhauer for his strong effort in the game, was on the doorstep to bang home the rebound.
Jude Rondina was flawless in goal for the Eagles to earn his second shutout of the post-season.
Eagles fans were abundant in the crowd for the game, with a large contingent staying in Woodstock for the entire weekend to ensure a loud show of support for our team. “It’s incredible how much support we have,” said Kirk Kemp. He pointed at the Eagles fans that had gathered in the arena. “This is one of the nicest weekends we’ll have all summer and it’s Mother’s Day, and these people are down here cheering on their team. And you know what? The kids feel it.”
The Eagles face off against the Stayner Siskins at 5:00 p.m. Saturday in a bid to earn a second consecutive trip to the Schmalz Cup final game.
“Playing tomorrow at 5:00 is a lot nicer than playing at 2:00. That’s the biggest thing, that we get a little more rest. So we can go home, get a good meal, and get a good sleep. The boys are on board that this is a business trip,” said Baumhauer. “But we’re ready. I didn’t care who we played today or tomorrow. If we play our game, we can beat anybody here. And that’s the truth.”
Eagles fans: if you can’t make it to Woodstock, consider going to watch Saturday’s game at Frosty Johns. They are showing the live stream of the game, and will have some great food specials as well.
The @EaglesPJHL have arrived in Woodstock for the Final Four! They face Lakeshore at 8pm tonight. Here’s captain Dawson Manning and Ryan Hall. #LocalSports #PJHL #519Playoffs @play_the_pj @WDSKNavyVets pic.twitter.com/qsuJ14ouTK
— 519 Sports Online (@519sportsonline) May 12, 2023