BRANTFORD — What a finally to the Jr. C Divisional semi-final “Battle of the Warriors”, Thursday night at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre in Brantford. The best-of-five series came down to a Game 5 showdown with the winner going on to face the Wilmott Wild in the Divisional Finals, and the losers cleaning out their dressing room.
It took Jaxson Martin’s goal to end the suspense 13-12 with 1:21 left in OT, sending Six Nations fans into wild celebration after one of the closest series in recent history.
Brantford fans thought they might be about to witness the collapse of their Six Nations guests after Brantford opened up a 3-0 first period lead. Riley Jamieson put SN on the map to close the first period 3-1.
The two teams wrestled the lead back and forth throughout the next 40 minutes to a 12-12 tie after Kaleb Wells sent the game into extra time on a powerplay with his fourth of the night for Brantford.
There was close checking and end-to-end action throughout most of the overtime period until Jaxson Martin muscled his way in close, elbowing defenders out of the way to take a feed and ended the game for Six Nations and the season for Brantford’s Warriors.
The series began with a 10-9 Brantford win which Six Nations avenged 10-6 in Game 2. Brantford held the hammer after defeating Six Nations in a close 10-9 Game 3, making it necessary for the Six Nations brand of Warriors to win the next two games.
Wednesday, a strong and consistent pressure is what paid off for Six Nations. Tehas Powless scored first at 1:42 from Riley Hess. Matt Miller converted a Tyrese Staats pass into the 2-0 lead, but Max Lewis cut that to 2-1 at 18:33.
Blake Dunford and Cole Robillard each got powerplay goals to start the second period but the second half of the frame was clearly Six Nations controlled with Sam Gowland, Tehas Powless and Darris Anderson ending the second period with Six Nations up 5-3. In the third it would be Miller, Leon Henhawk and Jaxon Martin adding goals for Six Nation with Riley Hess putting the cherry on top of a well played 9-5 game.
The Wilmott Wild welcomed the warn down Warriors at the Wilmott Arena, Sunday afternoon, July 22nd at 3 pm. They had been lying in wait for the Warriors after a hard fought five game series and were well rested. The Warriors were not. dropping an 11-3, Game 1 decision in the divisional finals.
Jackson Miller went the distance in goal for the Six Nations, facing 61 shots. The Six Nations tank was dry after the battle of the Warriors series as Jake Smith, Logan Anderson and Todd Powless scored for Six Nations.