Perfection!, News, Midget Rep, 2008-2009 (Listowel Minor Hockey Association)

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Perfection!
Submitted By Mike Weber on Saturday, February 14, 2009
Three games, three wins. WOAA CHAMPS.

The Listowel Midget Reps showed numerous people over the past week that hard work and determination will result in positive results. The Midget reps started the WOAA finals against the Goderich Sailers last Sunday night and by the end of the week they were WOAA champs.

Sunday's game started off with both teams exchanging numerous hard checks. Listowel seems to be the tougher team of the two as they slammed the Goderich players into the boards every opportunity that they had. The first period was a hard hitting, high speed affair that allowed both teams to have numerous scoring chances. The first period would end in a 0-0 score.
 
The second period was all Listowel's as Goderich players started taking some selffish penalties that would allow Listowel to capitalize on. Listowel's Mark Verkley started off the scoring under a minute into the second as he received a pass behind the net from Josh McPhee. Verkley would step out from the corner and roof a shot upstairs to take a 1-0 lead. Brett Buchanan would increase Listowel's lead as he one-timed a pass from George McKeown out of the corner to the high slot beating the Goderich goalie short side. Listowel would eventually score a total of five goals in the second to take the lead 5-0 heading into intermission. Ben Norman, Jonathan Hunsberger and Josh McPhee also scored for Listowel in the second.

The third period opened with Goderich putting a goal on the board as they beat Listowel's David Irwin from a shot just inside the blue line which he misplayed allowing Goderich to break the shutout. Listowel would answer back with just over a minute later as Justin Jacklin roofed a shot from the hash marks regaining the five goal lead. Goderich and Listowel would exchange goals to close out the third. The game ended with Listowel winning 7-2. 

The second game of the series was played the next night in Goderich. The Goderich team that came tonight was not the team that Listowel had seen the nigth before as they came out playing as though they were on the midst of elimination. They outplayed Listowel for the first and second periods. Luckily Listowel was fortunate enough to get unbelievable goaltending from David Irwin as he turned away numerous scoring opportunities with some of the biggest saves of the year. However, Irwin could only do so much as Goderich seemed to find the scoreboard with just under 2 minutes left in the second period. The period would end in a 1-0 score.

Listowel seemed to find some life after the intermission as they came out and tied the game in the opening minutes of the third period as Eric Boisvert picked up a rebound from a Jonathan Hunsberger shot to bring the Listowel team back to life tying the game at one. Goderich never gave up their hard play as they peppered Irwin with numerous scoring opportunities that were turned away, shot after shot. Irwin was playing some of the best hockey of his minor hockey career and was not going to beat with nothing short of perfection. Listowel would again lead another scoring attack as Josh McPhee seemed to have given Listowel the lead with a goal that hit the back of the net and popped back out quickly. However, after the goal, Josh was jumped by two Goderich players who took offence to Josh's celebration. The next shift this would lead to Josh and Mark Verkley getting into a confrontation with two Goderich players resulting in multiple game suspensions for both sides. Listowel's luck would change with just under two minutes left as Goderich was all over the Listowel team and the crowd was on pins and needles, George McKeown would pick up a pass from Listowel's Steven Kerr and bust down the centre of the ice splitting the Goderich defence to give himself a partial breakaway. George would not be turned away as he tooked the puck hard to the net squeezing it under the right pad of the Goderich tender to take the lead with just over a minute left. The game would end with a 2-1 score. Listowel stealing the game from Goderich. 

This past Thursday night, Listowel traveled again to Goderich in what was the third and final game of the series. Listowel again started off slow allowing Goderich to have numerous scoring opportunities. Goderich would answer first as a shot from the point was deflected past Listowel's Ian Robinson. Goderich continued to pressure our defensive end outplaying us for most of the first period. Listowel would get a break due to a selffish penalty by a Goderich defender. Listowel would pepper the goal with numerous scoring opportunities which continuously were turned away by the solid goaltending of the Goderich netminder. However, Listowel's break would come as both teams seemed to be making a change. Listowel's Eric Boisvert outworked his opponent and threw the puck from the corner on net. This play seemed to surprise the goalie who evidently knocked the puck into the net tying the game at one apiece.

The second period was a back and forth affair was both teams took turns killing numerous penalties. During theses penalties both teams goaltenders were unbeatable as they stopped shot after shot they faced. Listowel hit the post with back to back shots coming close to taking the lead. However, Goderich would finish the period on a high note as Coy Kulich found the top corner with a shot from the point that was misjudged by the Listowel tender. Goderich would finish the second with a 2-1 lead heading into intermission.

After discussion in the intermission, Listowel knew that they just had to keep on going to the net hard and the scoring opportunities would come. Minutes into the third period Listowel would tie the game back up as Listowel broke out of the defensive zone and work themselves into a three-on-two situation. Ben Norman busted wide with the puck as Jonathan Hunsberger headed to the net. Ben beat the Goderich defender outside to only drop the put to the trailing Vince McNichol who put home the goal upstairs on the Goderich goalie. Goderich started to play desperation hockey applying a three man fore check throughout most of the third period. However, the defensive efforts of the Listowel defence as well as solid goaltending kept the game tied. With just over 4 minutes left, Listowel's Boisvert was forechecking on the Goderich defence when he stole the puck and stuffed another goal home to take the lead. Listowel went to a trapped for the final 4 minutes to secure to lead and the WOAA championship.

Listowel now moves on to play the winner of Mount Brydges and Kingsville in the OMHA semifinals. GO CYCLONES GO.
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