The Georgetown Raiders hadn't won a regular season or playoff game in Hamilton for three years but they picked an ideal time to end that frustrating run on Monday evening, blasting the host Red Wings 8-1. With the victory, the Raiders clinched fourth spot in the OHA Provincial Jr. A Hockey League's West Division and home ice advantage against the fifth-place Burlington Cougars in their best-of-7 conference quarter-final playoff series, which opens Saturday at the Alcott Arena beginning at 7:30 p.m. The lopsided outcome was surprising in that the Wings had lost just three times on home ice all season and needed points themselves to avoid falling to third place in the division behind Oakville and the front running Brampton Capitals. But the 31-123-3 Raiders, who were routed in Brampton on Thursday and blew a chance to clinch fourth on Saturday by handing visiting Hamilton a 7-6 win, were in top form on Monday, holding intermission leads of 3-0 and 6-0. "We were waiting for something like this all year. What a time to make a statement," said Raiders' director of player personnel Peter Mavroudis. "With this being such a veteran team it was difficult to stay
motivated when we knew we couldn't get higher than fourth, but now that it's the playoffs we're going to see a different team." Backup Marc Stuart earned the win in goal as Georgetown was actually outshot 40-31. Ryan Ford (3), Jeremy Whelan, Evan Zych, Adam DeJong, Rob Sgarbossa and Zak Ray chipped in goals for the winning side.
In Saturday night's tilt at Alcott Arena, the Raiders looked to be in good shape after the first period, leading 3-1 over the Red Wings, who had backup Erik Crawford in goal after West Division MVP Cameron Talbot was suspended two games for his part in a fight on Friday against Oakville. Hamilton tied the score with two quick goals to start the middle stanza, then the teams traded leads until Matt Davis put the Wings up 7-5 late in the final period on a shortanded effort. George Lovatsis completed a five-point night with a goal that cut the deficit to one, but that was it for the Raiders, who outshot the visitors 38-37. DeJong notched a hat trick for George-town, with Matt Carter getting the other. The Raiders opened the scoring on Thursday in Brampton on a Rob Sgarbossa marker, but the Capitals went on to score six unanswered goals after the mid-point of the contest on their way to a 9-2 victory.
Wade Finegan also tallied for Georgetown. Defenceman Peter Mrksic sat out with an ankle injury but is expected back for Saturday's playoff opener. Mavroudis added that he still has a card remaining with which to sign a player and may still yet do so before Saturday's deadline for declaring post-season rosters. "We're looking at a few possibilities, maybe getting a 20-year-old or a prospect for next year," he said. "But you don't want to upset things in the dressing room just before the playoffs and it will be a team decision if we do something like that. We're pleased with what we have here now." In other first-round playoff matchups, Brampton faces Milton, Oakville takes on Mississauga and Hamilton meets Streetsville.
Georgetown Raiders goalie Keaton Hartigan stopped this penalty shot attempt from Steve Mullin of the Hamilton Red Wings during the Wings' 7-6 Provincial Jr. A Hockey League win at Alcott Arena Saturday. The Raiders rebounded Monday to drub the Wings 8-1 in Hamilton and lock up fourth place in the West Division.