HAGERSVILLE — After defeating the Port Dover Sailors in a perfect series while the Grimsby Peach Kings took out the Dunnville Mudcats, the two victors were brought together to face off in a daunting pairing.
With Grimsby resting in second place and the Hawks in third, the Hawks would have had to pull a few loose strings to win the series. But the odds weren’t in their favour this year.
The series began on February 18, to which they lost the first game 2-4. The following game on February 19, they took a shut out loss 0-2. The third game on February, 22, they were given three days to rest but still took a loss 2-5. This gave the fourth game a lot of weight.
On Saturday, February 23, the team seemed to buck up as their home arena flooded with support.
But the scoring in the first period was started by the Peach Kings two minutes in. Seven minutes later, Tycie Cowan broke through to land a bury with help from Ralph Taggart.
But what began to set the tone was that the Peach Kings had larger players— they weren’t afraid to use their size and take penalties as they racked up four minutes alone in the first period while the Hawks took none.
This brought a power play goal from Zack Carr for the Hawks, who was set up by Anthony Grigg and Riley Pinkney.
This allowed the Hawks to re-enter the ice with a lead, but also opened up for more aggression from their opponents. The second period alone seen a game misconduct for the Peach Kings, as well as six minutes in penalties — four of which were for checking from behind. With no scoring for either side, it seemed that the penalties were taking a toll on the Peach Kings, and keeping the Hawks scorers at bay.
This brought a weighted third period, whereby the Hawks had to up the ante on defence, or try to score.
However, the Peach Kings hit the ice ready to steal their lead back, scoring five minutes in during a power play. Two more calls for slashing and tripping went for the Peach Kings; although throughout the game they gave up seven power plays to the Hawks, only one goal was returned by the Hawks.
But after a lot of back and forth and puck stealing, the Peach Kings buried once more before the end of the period. This finalized the game 3-2 for the Peach Kings, and ended the Hawks run for the season.