Article by I. Schoonderbeek/Media by C. Archer
The Clarington Eagles are one victory away from advancing to the second round of the PJHL playoffs. The Junior C squad put up a pair of dominant performances this weekend to gain a 3-0 stranglehold in their best of seven first-round series against the Lakefield Chiefs.
Clarington has yet to allow more than 20 shots in any game so far in the series while directing over 50 shots on the Lakefield goaltenders in each contest.
Head coach Dean Baumhauer had expressed some concern over his team’s lack of secondary scoring in the final weeks of the regular season. His challenge to his players to step up were certainly answered Saturday night in Lakefield. Eight different Eagles found the back of the net en route to an 8-1 win.
“I thought we were ok Saturday night for the first two periods,” said Baumhauer. “We were up 3-1 and Lakefield was playing us hard and then they just lost their discipline in the third. They took a 5-minute major and we ended up scoring four goals on that powerplay. The most important takeaway from the game for me is we got contributions from all lines and got goals from a few guys who were struggling offensively a little bit recently.”
Sunday’s matchup at Rickard Arena was a tighter affair on the scoreboard, but Clarington once again came out on top 4-1.
“When you’ve got a team down 2-0, you know you’re going to get their best effort. Lakefield worked hard and their goalie played well,” said Baumhauer. “I shuffled the lines in the second period because I didn’t really think we had any one line going. I put Darrach with the two Davies brothers and they had some success together.” Connor Davies finished the game with two goals and an assist to lead the Clarington offence.
Baumhauer stressed the importance of closing out the series at the first opportunity. “That’s the hope,” said Dean. “In Junior C hockey you don’t get to practice much in the playoffs because you’re playing almost every other night. We need to get a couple practices in and some rest heading into the second round.”
The Eagles are looking to wrap the series up this Tuesday when they travel to Lakefield for game four. Game time is 7:25 p.m.
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