KINBURN – Game three of the Eastern Ontario Senior A Hockey League (EOSHL) goes in Kinburn this Friday evening (Feb. 28) as the deadlocked Rivermen and Prowlers meet in a critical match in the best of five championship series.
The two best teams in the EOSHL boasted the best record in the regular season, won their opening playoff round and have each won a home game in the championship series showing the two top teams are evenly matched.
“The series has been extremely even so far,” Rivermen coach and general manager Mike Byrne told West Carleton Online yesterday (Feb. 25). “Two very skilled teams and two very skilled goaltenders going head to head.”
Game one was played last Friday (Feb. 21) in Kinburn and was a 3-1 win for the Rivermen. The Cornwall Prowlers opened the scoring in the first, but the Rivermen scored three unanswered goals in the final two periods of the game for the win going two for five on the powerplay. Kurt Gowdy and Ian Boots got their first goals of the playoffs for the Rivermen while Alex Hulford’s goal was his fourth of the playoffs. Brett Gustavsen had two assists in the game.
“We were energized by the home crowd Friday and came out strong,” Byrne said. “Consistent attempts at getting the puck to the net lead to goal to tie things early in the second, and a wicked shot by Ian Boots, through a Riley Hennigar screen, put us ahead for good in the third.”
Game two was played in Cornwall at the Benson Centre Rink One and was a tight 4-3 win for the Prowlers. Cornwall scored all four of its goals in the second period.
“The team came out a little bit slow on Saturday and it cost us,” Byrne said. “After an incredible individual effort by Blake Forslund to put us up 2-1, the boys sat back, and we found ourselves down 4-2 heading into the third. The third period was one of the best we’ve played all year but proved to be too little too late. Freddy Roy was outstanding in goal for Cornwall, as was Dave Stathos for us.”
Roy was named the first star, while Stathos faced 40 shots in the loss. Ryan Lough, Blake Forslund and Huflord all scored for the Rivermen.
Game three is scheduled to stat at 8 p.m. at the Cavanagh Sensplex in Kinburn this Friday.
Game four is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 29 back in Cornwall and if a game five is needed, it will be back in Kinburn on Friday, March 6 at 8 p.m.