Tie Hawks, clip Cougars Raiders `starting to peak' as Jr. A playoffs approach
- Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 18 Jan 2006, p. 18, 20
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The OHA Provincial Jr. A Hockey League's playoffs aren't scheduled to begin for another three weeks, but a couple of West Conference foes decided to get a headstart on the post-season proceedings last Friday. Putting their 20-game undefeated streak on the line, the host and first-place Milton IceHawks were fortunate to come out with a 2-2 tie against the seemingly rejuvenated Georgetown Raiders. The fifth-place Raiders served notice that they will be a dangerous opponent in the playoffs, even if they've underachieved so far during the regular season. With just five players left on the roster from last year's run to the Royal Bank Cup semi-finals, Georgetown outshot the IceHawks-- Canada's number-one rated Tier II Jr. A squad-- 38-37, and had several chances to put the game away, but couldn't beat Milton's all-star selection in goal, Zach Kleiman. "We approached this like a playoff game and you can feel our team is starting to peak right now, we're starting to gel together," said Raiders' captain Frank DeAngelis of Woodbridge. "Sure, Milton has a great team, but come playoff time, experience will be a huge factor and there's plenty of that in our (dressing) room." Scoring goals remained the sore spot for the 19-14-4-2 Raiders heading into Tuesday night's game in Streetsville against the Derbys, but they received surprising contributions from an unlikely source on the weekend. Georgetown's Kyle Termini scored his first two goals of the season and both came in key moments of those games. The 20 year-old fourth-line bruiser produced the tying marker midway through the third period of Friday's spirited encounter in Milton and potted the eventual winner in Saturday's 5-2 home victory over the fourth-place Burlington Cougars.
Those two teams could meet up in the first round of play-offs, although there are many scenarios with nine games remaining in the regular season. "I like the way things are shaping up," said Raiders' coach Jay Anderson. "It's been the story of the season for us. We need to get one more goal per game from somewhere. Defensively, if we give up five goals in three games
against Milton and Hamilton, like we did, we'll be fine. If we ever got that goal scorer, all of these one-goal games and ties are going to start swinging our way. I guess we're saving them up for the playoffs." Leading-scorer Mike Gurtler tallied twice early on in the Burlington game for the Raiders, with Alex Paiement and Rob Sgarbossa adding singles. Big defender Erik Lundmark, who will join teammate DeAngelis for next week's OPJAHL all-star game in Port Credit on the North/West Conference team, scored Georgetown's other goal on the power play Friday at Milton. Ryan Gibb made 35 saves in the Raider nets and both IceHawk goals came with the man advantage, from Matt Read and Aaron Lewicki. Coming up this week, the Raiders have a rematch Friday in Burlington, followed by a home date with Bramalea on Saturday starting at 7:30 p.m. RAIDER RAP: Newcomer Jeremy Whelan looks like an excellent pickup for the Raiders, earning an assist against Burlington on right wing...Georgetown still hopes to sign veteran sniper Mike Tuomi from Bramalea, but he hasn't been able to secure his release from the 9-30-1-0 Blues. The 20-year-old Tuomi lost an OHA appeal last week and will now take his case to the OHF...DeAngelis is being courted by a number of U.S. schools with scholarship opportunities, including Buffalo's Canisius College.
- Maher, Eamonn; Desjardins, Yves
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- 18 Jan 2006
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- Kleiman, Zach ; DeAngelis, Frank ; Termini, Kyle ; Anderson, Jay ; Gurtler, Mike ; Paiement, Mike ; Sgarbossa, Rob ; Gibb, Ryan ; Read, Matt ; Lewicki, Aaron ; Whelan, Jeremy ; Tuomi, Mike
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