Minor PeeWee AE's Fly into OMHA Quarter-Finals, News, Minor PeeWee, AE (Guelph Minor Hockey)

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Minor PeeWee AE's Fly into OMHA Quarter-Finals
Submitted By Tim Davison on Thursday, February 13, 2020
The past two weeks were a roller coaster for the Junior Gryphon's as they looked to close out their double round-robin group action in the OMHA play-ins. After running their record to a perfect 4-0 in their first four games of play-in's - and including league and tournament play had gone on an incredible unbeaten streak of 17 games - the young Gryphons crashed to earth.

First, in a game against the Orangeville Flyers, where a win would have almost guaranteed a spot in the quarter-finals, the boys collected a combined 30 minutes in penalties and lost 5-3. Next, in a game against West Niagara Flying Aces, after a week and a half layoff, and day off school, the team turned in a listless effort in losing 5-2. That loss created a 3 way tie for first place in our play-off bracket, which required a three-way winner take all playoff. This meant, the Gryphons would be forced to beat first Orangeville and then West Niagara to move on. 

Before that mini-series could get started however, they had to play a Tri-County Playoff game against the top team in the league, Milton White. The question on everyone's mind was, which team would show up - the one that went 15-0-2 or the team that lost back to back games without putting up much of a fight. In a late game on Friday night, the answer became clear immediately - the Gryphons had returned. While they lost the game 3-1 (with Milton scoring a goal in the last minute of play), they had Milton on their heels for long stretches of the game and showed they could skate with the best when they played their best. 

Less than 24 hours later they returned to the ice in a win or go home game against the Flyers and the momentum of the night before carried through. From the drop of the puck it was clear the Gryphons were not going quietly into the night. In a balanced scoring attack where all lines tallied and they scored in each period, the Gryphons dominated the game for an 8-0 win. While many of the goals came off outstanding passing plays, and multiple players had multi-point nights, it was Jackson Byard who led the way with a stellar 3 assist night, while also scoring a goal on a penalty shot. And while the scoring was nice to see, it was Lucas Jones in net and collective team defense led by Cian Duffy, Oliver Fletcher, Michael Kusiak, Peter Schlitt, Chase Roffel, and Vid Peteranac, that paved the way for the shutout win.

The following day the boys returned to face the Flying Aces and again the game was never in doubt from the drop of the puck. A smothering aggressive attack ensured the Flying Aces could not get much going and were constantly pinned in their end. And with scoring coming in all periods and from all lines, the final score was 9-2. Kenny Beynon led the way offensively with 4 goals and 6 total points, Peyton Smith had 3 assists and 5 points, and Caleb Davison also had a hat-trick. Again, while the scoring was impressive, it was the team's defense first approach backed by Max Heroux in net that carried the team to victory. 

The win sent the boys flying into the OMHA quarter finals - a third consecutive year for the majority of the team. They will face the Brampton 45s who they went 2-1 against during the regular season in three tough, physical games. 

Game scoring summaries:

Orangeville (5-3 loss):
1. Peyton Markwood (Jackson Byard, Cian Duffy)
2. Markwood (Byard)
3. Owen McNamee (Peyton Smith)

West Niagara (5-2 loss):
1. Caleb Davison (Conner Laskowski, Peter Schlitt)
2. Michael Kusiac (Owen McNamee, Laskowski)

Milton (3-1 loss):
1. Nate Taylor (Milan Wilson, Vid Peteranac)

Orangeville (8-0 win)
1. Nate Taylor (Peyton Markwood, Jackson Byard)
2. Kenny Beynon (Peyton Smith)
3. Peyton Markwood (Byard)
4. Byard (penalty shot)
5. Peyton Smith (Kenny Beynon, Cian Duffy)
6. Conner Laskowski (Caleb Davison)
7. Nate Taylor (Byard, Markwood)
8. Smith (Beynon, McNamee)

West Niagara (9-2 win)
1. Caleb Davison (Milan Wilson)
2. Peyton Smith (Owen McNamee, Kenny Beynon)
3. Kenny Beynon (Oliver Fletcher, Peyton Smith)
4. Davison (Josh Eikelboom, Wilson)
5. Beynon (Smith)
6. Beynon (McNamee, Jackson Byard)
7. Smith (Beynon, McNamee)
8. Davison (Eikelboom, Wilson)
9. Beynon (Cian Duffy, Smith)

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