Walkerton outscores Hanover 9-8 to win final game of PJHL Pollock Division season

WALKERTON – After two tough losses, the Walkerton Capitals ended the regular season with a thrilling 9-8 victory over the Hanover Barons in front of a hometown crowd Sunday afternoon.

The game on Wednesday, March 1 against Goderich saw the Flyers claim a 6-2 win.

Walkerton’s only goals were by Kyle Durrer from Tyler Ewald, and Sam Shakes from Ethan Kerr and Ewald. In net for Walkerton was Logan Bromley.

Goderich scorers were Owen Shore unassisted, Brett Harrogate from Carson Stutzman, Iain MacIsaac unassisted, Austin Aldrich on the power play from Brett Reesor and Tayden Hannivan, Stutzman on the power play from Jack Stecho and Shore, and an empty netter by Hannivan from Stecho and Aldrich. Goderich goalie was Liam McCarthy, who made save after save for the Flyers.

Saturday, March 4 saw the Capitals host Mitchell in a game postponed from the previous evening due to weather. Mitchell won 3-1.

Walkerton’s only goal was in the third period, JJ Lavigne from Elliott McCarey and Reid Vanholder. Bromley was goaltender.

Mitchell goals were by Nolan Gagnier from Mark Cassidy and Charlie Rankin, Tyson Hall from Braeden Burdett and Zach Schooley, and Hayden Hessel from Callen Ferguson and Carter Musselman. In goal for Mitchell was Joshua Jacklin.

Sunday afternoon, with Bromley once again in net for the Caps and a busy offense – very busy, with only 13 players – Walkerton took an early lead and managed to hold on to it, despite a third period scoring blitz by the Barons (who had 19 players). Barons goalie was Lander Hartley.

Graham Gateman scored in the first period on the power play, with assists from Durrer and Ewald.

The Caps continued in the second period with five more – Ewald from Durrer and Clayton Fitzsimmons, Gateman from Skylar Berfelz, Lavigne from Gateman and Kerr, Aiden Mead from Ewald and Fitzsimmons, and McCarey on the power play from Lavigne and Owen Tichbourne. Hanover scored three goals in the second period: Dylan Richardson on the power play from Payton McIsaac and Ryan Goetz, McIsaac from Joey Stimac and Ryan Colquhoun, and Harrison Farrugia on the power play from McIsaac.

A determined Hanover team started scoring seconds into the third period: Chris Ferri on the power play from Goetz, Nick Freiburger from Cam Angst and Curtis Arnold, Stimac from Farrugia and Colquhoun, Freiburger unassisted and Arnold from Farrugia and McIsaac. But the Caps scored three of their own, Gateman unassisted, Durrer from Gateman and Campbell Hobson, and Durrer again, this time on assists from Ewald and Kerr. With their early lead, this meant a 9-8 win.

Quarter-finals set

The Capitals, who finished as the No. 6 seed in the PJHL Pollock Division, will take on the No. 3 Hanover Barons in the best-of-seven quarter-finals.

The schedule for that series is as follows:

Game 1 – Friday, March 10 in Hanover, 8 p.m.

Game 2 – Saturday, March 11 in Walkerton, 8:30 p.m.

Game 3 – Sunday, March 12 in Hanover, 2:30 p.m.

Game 4 – Wednesday, March 15 in Walkerton, 8 p.m.

Game 5 – Friday, March 17 in Hanover, 8 p.m. *

Game 6 – Saturday, March 18 in Walkerton, 7:30 p.m. *

Game 7 – Sunday, March 19 in Hanover, 2:30 p.m. *

* if necessary

Other series

In the other quarter-finals series, the No. 4 seed Wingham Ironmen will take on the No. 5 seed Kincardine Bulldogs, while the No. 2 seed Mitchell Hawks will play the No. 7 seed Goderich Flyers. The Mount Forest Patriots, who finished as the No. 1 seed, have earned a bye into the semi-finals.

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times