With just a 48-hour turnaround time between series, the Georgetown Raiders had little time to savour a dramatic opening-round playoff victory over the Burlington
Cougars this week before taking on the first-place Brampton Capitals in game one of the best-of-seven West Division semifinals last night (Thursday) in Brampton. "Well, the players can celebrate a bit, we're already thinking about Brampton," said Georgetown coach James Richmond
outside a jubilant Raider dressing room after Tuesday night's thrilling 3-2 double-overtime victory in Burlington that eliminated the Cougars in six games. "It's going to be a tough series. They're the top team and we'll have to be our best if we're going to beat them. Brampton has a smaller rink and it's a different game over there but we've shown that we can adjust."
Fourth-place Georgetown posted a 2-3-0-0 record during the regular campaign against the high-flying Capitals, who scored
an OHA Provincial Jr. A Hockey League-best 282 goals this year. Led offensively by the scoring of forwards
Matt Fereira, Cody Chrichton and Spencer Anderson-- son of former Toronto Maple Leaf John Anderson--
along with the defensive duo of Jeff Terminesi and Derek Foam, the Caps did have some difficulty in finishing off the Milton IceHawks in their first round series last Saturday in five games. The Raiders, meanwhile, feel they're on an emotional high after knocking off Burlington in a series that featured many twists and turns, a protest, and an overtime-winning goal from an unlikely source in 17-year-old blueliner Adamo Miceli, who was a healthy scratch in earlier post-season games. But Richmond wasn't counting on momentum to go far in the tiny Brampton Memorial Arena confines, where the
Raiders were 1-2 during the season, as he conducted a full practice Wednesday to prepare for the Caps. Game two of the series will be played Saturday at Georgetown's Alcott Arena beginning at 7:30 p.m.
On the injury front, Richmond reported that a healthy squad should be ready for the opener, although blueliner Justin Wakewich didn't finish Tuesday's series-capper. Defender Peter Mrksic will be available later in this series due to a suspension incurred against Burlington. There are question marks about Brampton's goaltending due to a concussion suffered by Wyatt
Russell-- the son of actors Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn-- in the late-season win over Georgetown. The Raiders are confident in their goaltending duo, especially after Marc Stuart's 62-save effort Tuesday night. Both teams had great chances to put the contest away in extra time, but it was Miceli who stepped out of the penalty box and received an errant Burlington pass that sent the Woodbridge resident in on a breakaway to send the spirited Cougars packing. Ironically, of the three goals Miceli scored all year, two came as overtime clinchers against Burlington. Matt Thomson and George Lovatsis, with his sixth goal in as many post-season outings, also tallied on Tuesday.
Georgetown forward Zak Ray broke through the checks of Burlington's Josh Shrum (12) and Mike Nemeth and wristed a shot wide of the goalpost of netminder Oliver Wren that nearly won game six in double overtime on Tuesday in the Jr. A playoff series between the visiting Raiders and Cougars. Raider defenceman Adamo Miceli ended the contest and the best-of-seven series minutes later on a breakaway goal to send Georgetown on to play Brampton in the West Division semifinals, which began last night.