South Grenville Rangers tie playoff series 1-1
CARDINAL/GATINEAU – The South Grenville Rangers opened their second round, playoff semi-final series against the Gatineau Hull-Volant in an unfamiliar place, losing 4-3.
In the regular season, the Rangers won three of the four games played between the two teams. South Grenville opened the scoring late in the first period on the power play. Connor VanLuit (from Nate Medaglia and Noah Penney) with a one-timer, fired the puck past Hull-Volant goalie Zachary Major.
A lackluster effort in the second period by the Rangers saw the Hull-Volant score three goals to take the lead. Charles Boucher scored first, followed by a power play goal by Mathis Villeneuve, and a late goal by Jéremy Marcotte had Gatineau in the lead 3-1 after 40 minutes.
The league’s regular season scoring champion Étienne Champagne added a power play goal with 9:10 remaining in the third period, extending Gatineau’s lead to 4-1.
Jakob Beauvais (from Jacob McGonegal and Vincent Busseau) lifted the spirits of the Rangers in the final five minutes of the game as the team attempted a comeback. Penalties were the name of the game for the third period with both teams finding players in the sin-bin. With goalie Andrew Cristea pulled, South Grenville defenceman Jacob McGonegal (from Ethan Wooller and Aidan Bailey) scored a power play goal to put the Rangers behind by one goal with 58 seconds remaining in the game. Another penalty against the Rangers finished off the game, as the team lost 4-3.
The series moved to Gatineau March 12 where South Grenville wasted no time getting on the scoreboard.
Colin Stacey found McFarlane on the power play for a goal less than five minutes into the first period. McGonegal (from Vincent Busseau) made it 2-0 less than three minutes later. Cole Jelly (from Medaglia) added a power play goal, while Beauvais scored with a minute left in the period. The Rangers led 4-0 going into the second period.
A rough second period ultimately resulted in the Rangers scoring with only 16 seconds remaining in the period. Stacey (from Jelly and Penny) scored on yet another power play. Rangers led 5-0 heading into the third period.
Penalties got the Rangers in trouble in the third period, with the Hull-Volant scoring two of their three goals on the power play. The Rangers held on to beat the Hull-Volant 5-3, tying the series at one game apiece.
Game three of the best-of-seven series will take place March 17 in Gatineau, and game four is set for the Ingredion Centre in Cardinal for March 19, 5 p.m.
Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader