Junior Gryphons take 2-0 lead in OMHA Quarter Final, News, Minor PeeWee, AE (Guelph Minor Hockey)

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Junior Gryphons take 2-0 lead in OMHA Quarter Final
Submitted By Tim Davison on Sunday, February 16, 2020
The boys returned to the ice on Saturday morning looking to take a 2-0 stranglehold lead in their OMHA Quarter Final series against the Brampton 45s. Going in the game the message to the team was simple, keep playing the same defense first system that has brought so much success over the past week, including in game 1 of the series on Wednesday night vs Brampton.

The game started exactly as expected for the Gryphons. The 45s came out firing on all cylinders and threw everything at the Minor PeeWees looking to get back into the series. However the boys withheld the barrage over the first 5 minutes before starting to flip the tables. And just over 5 minutes into the contest the Wilson line started the scoring when Caleb Davison picked up the puck along the boards in their own end and fed it to Josh Eikelboom streaking out of the zone. Eikelboom flew down the left side and around the defense to get a shot on net, were Milan Wilson pounced on the juicy rebound for the 1-0 lead. 

However, less than a minute later Brampton scored off a faceoff in the Gryphon zone to even the score at 1. That score wouldn't last long, and that would be as close as the game would get again. Off the centre ice draw the Wilson line went back to work with Eikelboom and Wilson working the puck along the left side deep into the 45s zone when Wilson got control of the puck, spun and fired a pass to Davison who was standing alone in front of the net, and quickly deked the goalie and tucked it in the back of the open net on his backhand.

The Gyphons would extend their lead in the second period to 5-1. Kenny Beynon scored the first of the period when Nate Taylor kept a puck in the offensive zone along the right side and jammed the puck to Jackson Byard in the corner. Byard walked out from the corner and fed Beynon who was streaking through the slot from the bench and fired a quick wrist shot that caught the Brampton goalie by surprise. A minute later Pistol Pete Schlitt broke up a passing play in the defensive zone and fed the puck to Beynon who raced out of the zone and carried the puck into the Brampton end where he slid the puck to Peyton Smith for a quick shot. While the inital shot was blocked, Smith grabbed his own rebound, circled the net and flipped a wrist shot over the goalie into the top corner. They would finish the second period scoring minute later when Michael Kusiak picked up the puck in the offensive zone and skated across through the slot and dropped the puck to Byard who was covering at the point for him. Byard skated into the corner and fed Peyton Markwood in the slot for a shot on net. The shot was stopped, but Byard who had been following the play in, buried the rebound.

The third period saw the Gryphons continue the attack and add two more goals to their tally. At the 8 minute mark, Cian Duffy grabbed the puck in the Gryphon zone and fed the puck to Owen McNamee on the right boards. With his head up, McNamee saw Eikelboom racing out of the zone to centre ice and hit him perfectly in stride and immediately began chasing after him for a 2-on-1 breakout. Eikelboom smartly held onto the puck to get the defensemen out of position beside the net and then passed the puck back to McNamee in the slot who buried the pass on the glove side. Then with just under 6 minutes left in the game with the draw in the 45s zone, Wilson won the draw over to his left winger Eikelboom in the slot and drove to the net to receive the pass back and fire a quick shot between the goalies pads. That pass gave Eikelboom 4 assists on the afternoon.

From there Max Heroux held down the fort to secure the 7-1 win for the Gryphons and the 2-0 series lead. The Junior Gryphons look to close out the series against Brampton on Wednesday night at the West End Community Centre.

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