It took seven hard-fought games in the finals, three of which went into overtime, for the Marlboros to clinch the GTHL Championship; and earn the right to represent the League at the All-Ontario Championships in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The Championship will begin on March 26th and the Finals will be held on March 31st, 2017.
Last night’s 7th and deciding game proved to be every bit as exciting as the previous six. Both teams exchanged numerous chances to score throughout the first two periods. The goalies at both ends were outstanding. Stephen Halliday opened the scoring in the 1st period for the Blue & White, only to have the Mississauga Reps come back late in the period to tie the game. The second period was scoreless as once again the goalies provided the backbone for their respective teams.
The puck was dropped to begin the 3rd period and within the first 15 seconds, the Reps caught the Marlboros napping; pushing the Reps ahead 2-1. The action continued back and forth with time winding down. Press…press…press finally paid off for the Marlboros as Nick Enero tied the game up with 3 ½ minutes remaining in the game.
Both teams were resolved to a 3rd overtime game to determine the outcome. The tempo in the overtime continued to be relentless. The Marlboros were determined not to let their opportunity slip away. Approximately 6 minutes into the OT Will Cuyle potted the eventual winner from a goal-mouth scramble to seal the victory.
The GTHL Bantam Play-offs from a Marlboro standpoint were certainly a test of endurance. Both the Jr. Canadiens and the Mississauga Reps proved to be formidable opponents pushing the two series with a total of 5 Overtime games. In the end however, it was the Marlboros that overcame the adversity, persevered as a team, and are now rewarded to represent the GTHL.