Minor PeeWee AE "Spin the Black Circle" in OMHA Quarter-Final Opener, News, Minor PeeWee, AE (Guelph Minor Hockey)

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Minor PeeWee AE "Spin the Black Circle" in OMHA Quarter-Final Opener
Submitted By Tim Davison on Friday, February 14, 2020
After an exhausting stretch of 4 games in 4 days, to qualify for the OMHA quarter-finals,  the mighty Gryphons returned to the ice on Wednesday night after a 3 day break, to face the Brampton 45s in game 1 of the quarter-final round. This series will be a first to 6 points, with 2 points coming for a win and 1 for a tie.

Understanding that a lead in such a short series is critical to success, the Minor PeeWee's came out flying in the first game. For the second straight game it was the Smith line that led the way offensively, scoring early and often, and wracking up a combined 10 points on the night, including a 5 point night by Owen McNamee.

Only minutes into the game Peyton Smith opened the scoring off a pass from Kenny Beynon. Less than 3 minutes later, McNamee would get his first of four on the night off a scramble play in front, with Smith and Vid Peteranac collecting assists. Just over a minute later it was Nate Taylor who ripped home a cross ice feed from Peyton Markwood to make the score 3-0. Jackson Byard also collected an assist on the play. Then with only 6 seconds left on the clock of the fist period, McNamee collected his second of the night off a feed from Markwood, to make the score 4-0 at the end of 1 period.

The second period started off exactly the same, with Taylor picking up his second of the night, with his line-mates Byard and Markwood drawing assists. That would be the only goal of the period.

Heading into the 3rd, with the score 5-0, the Junior Gryphons didn't sit back. McNamee quickly put any thoughts of a third-period comeback by Brampton on ice bu scoring just 11 seconds into the period for a hat-trick. The goal was created as Smith corralled the puck off the centre-ice faceoff, swung wide to the right hand boards and flipped a backhand to McNamee. McNamee took off from centre ice, blazing past the forward line, splitting the surprised defense, and tucking the puck behind the goalie on a beautiful deke. Then with just over 9 minutes left in the game McNamee picked up his 4th of the game to close out the scoring. On this play it was last-minute call-up Kingston Beynon who stopped a clearing attempt by the 45s and flipped the puck to Smith just inside the offensive blue-line who got the puck to McNamee for the goal. It was Beynon's first point of the year for the AE team.

Despite the offensive breakout over the past 3 games, it has all been possible because of tight team defense. Lucas Jones was solid in net, turning away and smothering any chances the 45s could muster, to pick up his second straight shutout win. In front of him the Defense was once again outstanding, ensuring the few times that Brampton were able to generate offensive threats, they were quickly stripped of the puck, shots were blocked, or sticks would break up passes.

The boys return to the ice on Saturday morning in Brampton for game two of the Quarter-Finals, looking to take a commanding 4 point lead.
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