Radars eliminate C4th in 6 games.
It was anything but easy but your Radars are off to the semifinals...
In Seaforth on Feb. 22, the Clinton Radars advanced to the next round of playoffs when they downed the Huron East Centenaires 6-2 to win the Battle of Highway 8.
As they did in every game of this series the Cents were first to hit the scoreboard when Calvin Penney scored at the 31-second mark on a harmless-looking shot to beat Dars’ goalie Greg Dodds. The Radars’ Cullen Mercer tied the game at 1-1 at 10:26 as he drilled a slap shot through a maze of bodies in front of the net. Goalie Jesse Raymond was completely screened on the shot.
In the middle frame, the Radars capitalized on two power plays. First at 4:26 it was Max Campbell scoring his first goal of three in the game. Once again Raymond was screened on the play and had no chance to stop the shot. Later on in the period it was Nathan Ansell finding the twine as he too scored on a blistering shot from the point. The second period ended with the Radars leading 3-1.
In the final period both teams held nothing back, and came out to play good hard hockey. Both goalies made sensational saves to anchor their team’s back end. But at 11:33 Campbell scored his second goal of the game to give the visitors a 4-1 cushion. Just 24 seconds later the Centenaires narrowed the gap to 4-2 when Nick Jung beat Dodds from in close.
Braydon Blight-Royal took a ill-advised four-minute penalty when he speared the Radars’ Cullen Mercer in the abdomen to give the Radars another power play opportunity. With both desperation and frustration mounting for the Cents it was at the 15:30 mark that the Radars were awarded a penalty shot because Penney threw his broken stick at a Radars player during their power play.
Campbell took the penalty shot for the Dars and did not disappoint, as he went from his backhand across the goal crease to tuck the puck through the five hole of Raymond, this completing Campbell’s first hat trick in the red pants.
Trailing 5-2 the Centenaries pulled their net minder to try to steady the lads, but it backfired as Mercer scored his second goal of the game into the empty Cents net at 19:27.
With the 6-2 win the Radars advance to the second round which will start the weekend of Feb. 28-29.
The three stars of this contest were: first star to Campbell for his first hat trick as a Radar; second star to Mercer who scored two goals and one assist; and third star to Sean Consitt for setting the tone for the team.
Radars win at home
In Clinton on Feb. 21, the Radars scored a 3-2 victory over the Centenaires in front of a packed house. With a crowd of 1,000-plus cheering loudly, Radars’ sniper Derek Elliott snapped home the game-winning goal at 14:24 of the third period.
Mercer and Ryan Murphy picked up helpers on the play as they bodied their way inside the Cents end zone. After some fierce joisting and whacks at the puck it popped loose for Elliott to lift the disc over Alex Hutchenson’s glove.
In the first period the Cents’ Josh Gayner pounced on a rebound shot taken by Liam Melady at 0:26 to give the Cents an early lead. This was a wee bit of a wake-up call for the Dars and the rest of this period was what you could refer to as assessing the competition.
In the middle frame at 4:01, Jamie Huber tied the game at 1-1 when he corralled a rebound shot and jammed home the loose puck. Derek Elliott and Ray Huether each had chances and both earned assists on the play.
In the third period Stephen Sanza was left unguarded in the slot and when the loose puck landed on his stick, he cashed in tying the game at two apiece. Prior to the goal, Steven Shipley and Campbell both were turned away on excellent scoring chances. With Dars defenceman Josh Cornelissen sitting out a four-minute high sticking penalty, the Cents’ Hayden Broomhead scored a power play goal at 11:18 to tie the game 2-2.
Radars goalie Dodds had made two spectacular saves before the Cents got the tying goal. Consitt and Campbell on a two-man picture perfect rush buried the puck, but the goal was disallowed because the net was knocked off. This was a huge break for the Centenaires. The seconds had finally run out on the clock, the final score of the game was 3-2 for the Radars.
The game itself was an entertaining affair with each goalie making timely saves, but it was once again Elliott’s game winning goal that made all the difference. Elliott came up large for the Radars when they needed him as he potted five goals in the series. The Radars outshot the Centenaires 29-24 in this fast-paced game.