RAMA FIRST NATION ORILLIA TERRIERS
The Rama First Nation Orillia minor bantam Terriers finished first place after regular-season action.
They battled Innisfil in the first round of the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) playoffs. In Game 1, the Innisfil Winterhawks came out aggressively, using body contact to try to intimidate the Terriers.
After a scoreless first period, Connor Varley scored on assists from Caden Bannville and Jordan Blunt. The contest would go back and forth, until the Terriers found themselves in penalty trouble in the middle of the third period. The Winterhawks capitalized early in the power play to even the score.
The teams took the 1-1 tie to overtime. Early in the overtime period, Innisfil caused a turnover and ended up sliding the puck past goalie Connor Sampson to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
Orillia travelled to Innisfil for Game 2 a few days later. Orillia flew out of the gates with goals from Cam Dooley and Marcus Petroff. Assists went to Varley and Nate Fogarty.
On a power play, the Winterhawks scored one of their own to bring them one goal closer before the end of the second period. Cohen Robitaille potted one early in the second, followed by a goal from Fogarty to give the Terriers a three-goal lead. Assists went to Fogarty and Hunter McLaughlin.
Innisfil was able to score one more before Ryker Jacobs closed the door to seal the 4-2 win and even up the series.
Game 3 in front of home fans seemed to give the Terriers the jump they needed as they came out with four straight first-period goals (Cameron Weishar, Fogarty, Ethan Telford and Dooley). Assists on the first-period goals went to Robitaille (2), Petroff, Weishar and Blunt.
Innisfil was able to close the gap with three power-play goals in the middle of the game, but a late goal from McLaughlin ensured the victory on a pass from Bennett Mackey and another assist from Blunt. Connor Sampson made several key stops down the stretch to hold the win.
As Game 4 came, the Terriers, having two players sitting out and one suspended, were determined to finish the Winterhawks off. Weishar opened the scoring again for the Terriers with assists from Fogarty and Telford. Innisfil bounced back by scoring two goals and taking an early 2-1 lead in the second period.
At the middle part of the game, McLaughlin found the back of the net once again from Telford to tie the game. Thomas North slapped in a late-second-period goal to give the Terriers the lead on a pass from Fogarty. It would stay that way until Petroff scored with under seven minutes left in the game to give the boys a two-goal lead. Innisfil would get one more but it wouldn't be enough as Jacobs kicked out the rest of the pucks to win the series 3-1.
The Terriers will host TNT in the next round of the OMHA playoffs.