With their series against
Grimsby tied 1-1 the Ravens traveled down the 401/403 corridor to Grimsby this
past Friday to face off against the Peach Kings in game 3 of the series.
Knowing one win would ensure they would head back to Essex for a game 5 the Ravens came out flying in this one scoring one minute in on a goal from Jaclyn Weston on a feed from Meredith Coulter. Late in the first the Ravens would go up two on a goal by Andrew Baker. The score would remain 2-0 until the start of the third period. Once again the Ravens would score early in a period with Andrew Baker sliding one past the Peach King tender on a sweet back hand goal. Grimsby would add one late however the Ravens would win this one 3-1 to go up 4 points to 2 in the series. The team was feeling good as they settled in at their hotel with parents and grandparents all commenting on how hot the team was playing. At the hotel the coaching staff had the kids relaxed and meeting curfew to ensure they remain hot, Lorna B even commented that the team was as sure a bet as a night at the casino.
Saturday would find the Ravens facing off in game 4 against a determined Grimsby team. This game would see back and forth action and numerous scoring chances turned away by both goalies. A sweet glove hand save by Reed VanderVecht ensured the Ravens kept it scoreless through two periods. With little over a minute left in the third Grimsby charged the net and slid a rebound past the Essex goalie to take a 1-0 lead. The Ravens would apply pressure in the last minute of play however this one ends in 1 -0 win for Grimsby meaning game 5 back in Essex on Sunday.
On Sunday the Essex arena hosted a huge playoff game as well as the 73’s on the other rink. A packed house cheered the Ravens on and witnessed two periods of scoreless hockey with end to end action and numerous scoring chances. With 5 minutes left in the game the Peach Kings would capitalize on pressure on the Ravens to go up 1-0. Facing elimination with 5 minutes left in the game many teams would quit and throw in the towel – not this group of kids – as indicated in this column before, not only are they winners, they also never ever quit. With one minute left Caleb “Mr. Bruin” Cavanagh would shelf one to even the score. The Ravens had momentum. The crowd was going crazy. One minute later Caleb would come out of the corner and snipe a backhander top shelf to put the Ravens up 2-1. The cheer from the capacity crowd shook the arena and had the 73’s players wondering what happened. The Ravens would hold off a late Grimsby rush – final score 2-1 win for Essex. Series over 6 points to 4 for Essex!
This team of dedicated players continues to set an example of what travel hockey should be – there are no superstars, the team battles every game and they never quit. The team both wins and loses with dignity and sportsmanship, a point that has been validated by letters from opposing coaching staffs. The kids are now ready for their next opponent – Woolwich. Please check the EMHA website for game times and come out to support a team full of great kids.