Last Wednesday (Feb. 11th) the Cens eliminated the Wellesley Applejacks in four games to advance to the semi finals.
Wellesley came out fast trying to stave off elimination and scored just 1:20 into the game cashing in on a goal mouth scramble. Pettitt tied it up at 5:56 one timing in a pass out from behind the net. Whibbs and Mellish assisted. White put the Cens out front with 2:55 remaining in the first snapping in a rebound from a Pettitt point shot. Second assist went to Schuringa. Pettitt set up the Cens third with a beauty break out pass that sprung Diamond down the right side. From the right wing hash marks Diamonds centering pass was wristed in by Schaefer with 34 seconds left on the clock.
Kovrig opened the scoring in the second while on the power play with an unassisted marker. A sweet deke at the blue line enabled him to slide into the high slot and snap it home. Ayr’s power play clicked again 8:55 in when Richard was parked off to the side to tap in a Mitchell rebound. White got his second of the night after unleashing a wicked wrister from between the dots. The assist went to Schuringa.
Up 6-1 going into the third the Cens started AP goalie Blair Wickett but a bad bounce behind the net caused a turn over, a two on one and a third goal in the opening four minutes of the third brought Keire back into the net. Cens captain Andrew Richard is a leader by example and was rewarded for paying the price in front of the net with his second of the game on the power play midway through the third. Assists went to Diamond and Schaefer. Keire collected the lone assist on Kovrig’s second of the night. Two nice dekes allowed him between the dots and from there Austin made it an 8-4 final.
The Applejacks played a good clean series and wished the Cens luck on their quest for the cup.
Now the semi finals series is set and the Cens will be facing the Paris Mounties. If you were looking for T.V. ratings you couldn’t have picked a better match up as this rivalry is intense. The Cens will be looking to avenge their loss to the Mounties in last season’s finals. A series that saw the Cens limp onto the ice after a grueling 7 game series against the Firebirds. This year the Cens are healthy and rested and Paris advanced after winning game 7 against Woodstock last Saturday night.
Game one goes this Thursday Feb. 19th 7:30 at the NDCC. At Saturday’s game in Paris they announced that it was the biggest play off crowd in the team’s history at 448. Let’s see how many we can get out to support the Cens.
In the other semi final series Norwich drew first blood beating the Firebirds in New Hamburg 4-2 to take a 1-0 lead.