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Flyers eliminate Milton: On to conference finals

The noise level at the Highbury Canco arena last Thursday night, March 28, was loud as 1,246 fans — including some from Milton — showed their support for the two teams.

The Flyers came out on top of that game by a 4-0 score.

Then on Saturday, March 30, in Milton, the Flyers accomplished another feat – they advanced to the West Conference finals by beating the Menace 2-1 to win the series 4-1. They will now face the Collingwood Blues. 

Thursday, the hometown fans watched with glee as goalie Sebastian Gatto turned aside 29 Menace shots and earned the shutout victory to vault Leamington into a 3-1 series lead. 

The game’s intensity ramped up immediately and the Flyers went ahead at 14:07 when Alex Cunningham rifled a rebound from the slot area. Cam Arquette and Cayden Faust picked the helpers. 

Despite Max Anderson taking a boarding penalty at 18:28, the Flyers defense turned the tables and scored and in the final seconds as Anthony Ciaramitaro sent Cayden Faust and Adrian Bosev on a two-on-one breakaway that was completed with a pass to Bosev for a shorthanded marker and a 2-0 lead. 

Milton pressured Leamington for much of the second period but Gatto halted everything that came his way. Milton’s frustration showed during the last minutes of the stanza as the Flyers made the Menace defense work hard.

For the Flyers, their third-period work ethic was superb. The night’s best move was by Cam Arquette who cruised towards Milton starter Forbes Anderson on a breakaway, found an opening from close range and it was 3-0. 

Near the period’s midway point Flyers defenseman Nick Mahy triggered his first-ever OJHL goal when he fired the puck past Anderson from the slot area. At that juncture, the Milton bench called a timeout which didn’t help them. The Flyers did give Milton two late powerplay opportunities but the defense kept Milton off balance and permitted only five shots on Gatto during the period. 

Head coach Dale Mitchell said, “I was really happy with our start. We played the right way and played hard defensively. In the second period they took it to us and we weathered the storm. Gatto was fantastic but (winning) a fourth game is always the hardest to close out.”

Saturday night, after a scoreless first period, Matthew Thomas tabbed a powerplay goal at 11:03 of the second. That score held up until Milton tied it near the six-minute mark of the third. The eventual game-winner came from captain Cayden Faust at 11:12, and in the final minute Nick Mahy fired an empty-net goal. 

Finals Schedule

Game 1 at Collingwood on Fri. Apr. 5 at 7 pm.

Game 2 at Leamington on Sun. Apr. 7 at 6:10 pm.

Game 3 at Collingwood on Tues. Apr. 9 at 7 pm.

Game 4 at Leamington on Thurs. Apr. 11 at 7:10 pm.

*Game 5 at Collingwood on Sat. Apr. 13 at 7 pm.

*Game 6 at Leamington on Mon. Apr. 15 at 7:10 pm

*Game 7 at Collingwood on  Wed. Apr. 17 at 7 pm.

* if necessary

This week’s
online edition

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

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