The regular season ends, and the playoffs await, News, Major Peewee Black, 2014-2015, AA / A (Waterloo Minor Hockey)

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The regular season ends, and the playoffs await
Submitted By Greg Eckert on Friday, February 13, 2015
Hello, Waterloo PW Black fans, and apologies for the lengthy gap in reporting.  It's been an incredibly busy few weeks for the boys since the trip to the other side of the border, and our recent negligence means that even with minimal detail, this report is a whopper, so grab a coffee, put your feet up, and dive on in.

(On reflection, don't do that - sounds potentially quite dangerous.)

Anyhoo ... first game back from away had Waterloo matched up against cross-town rivals Kitchener Blue.  The Wolves opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal late in the first period, after a very nifty steal.  But then, Kitchener Blue really started to put their foot down in the second, scoring a nice pair of goals, one on a power play and one shorthanded, leaving the Wolves down a goal going into the third period.  Just a few minutes after the puck dropped for the third, the Wolves scored a beautiful precision goal to tie up the game.  Despite furious efforts from both sides, the score remained at 2 all at the end of the game.  A nicely fought game and entertaining game for all.

Next up was Burlington.  Once again, the Wolves drew first blood, followed by a quick strike back by the Dogs.  The two teams settled down to alternate goals for a bit, with the scores going successively to 2-2, then 3-3, then 4-4, then 5-4 to the Wolves before the first break point went to the Wolves, extending their lead to 6-4.  Again, the end of the game was an exciting melange of hard pressing forwards, desperate defensive dives, and the Burlington goalie taking a deserved last minute break, that had fans on the edge of their seats, before the buzzer sounded, giving the game to the Wolves.

A Tuesday night visit to the delightful Gretzky Centre in Brantford was up next. The game started off strong for the Wolves, who held their tough opponents to no score at the end of the first period, which featured a particularly impressive PK from the Wolves.  The 99ers managed to put a couple in the net in the second, though, one on a beautiful cross play, and another just before a Wolves penalty kill was up.  Another goal went in for Brantford early in the third, followed by a fabulous response from the Wolves to make it 3-1.  Just before the end, Brantford netted a final goal, making it 4-1 after a really hard-fought game from the Wolves.

Then it was once more unto the breach, dear friends, as the Wolves took on Stratford.  The teams were fairly even across the season, with the Wolves having the edge in head-to-heads so far (one win, one tie) while Stratford had the better overall win-loss record.  This was not the Wolves' night, however, with Stratford breaking through for a first goal 30 seconds into the game.  The Warriors managed to net another 4 in the evening, with the Wolves unable to break through the stout defences of their foes. 

Waterloo's third stab at our friends from Kitchener Blue of the season was a bit of a doozy, with the Wolves putting on a fine offensive show, featuring a some wonderful teamwork, precision shooting, and hard work to p0unce on the puck whenever the Kitchener goalie let it loose, leading the Wolves to a 2-0 lead by the end of the second period.  The third saw Kitchener stage a recovery, with a disciplined goal scored with 18 seconds left on their power play.  The Rangers kept up the offensive pressure, particularly on the Wolves' goalie, but the D played it cool and kept them from breaking through.  And with about 5 minutes to go, the Wolves scored again, with a fantastic pass and shot combo, that ranks as one of the best plays of the season.  From there, the team kept a tight rein on the Rangers' rushes, holding them off for a 3-1 win.

After putting it off as long as they could, Sarnia finally managed to return the two visits the Black Wolves had made to their home town.  With the game taking place at the big rink at the Rec Centre, it was a wonder that more spectators were not drawn in by the action on the ice, or by the awesome DJing from the booth.  Sarnia opened the scoring with a bit of a fluky goal on a fanned shot which got the goalie moving in one direction while the dedicated Sting player managed to steer the puck (that remained near him) into the net from a prone position.  The Wolves managed to survive a couple of PKs, and got their first goal (assist to Bon Jovi) to make it 1-1.  A breakaway by Sarnia led to their second of the match, but the dogs were let out with a matching goal from the Wolves.  That's where the score remained until 5 minutes before the end of the game, when Sarnia got another one through the Wolves's defences, and then again with 90 seconds left in the game.  The Wolves had played a strong game, and kept up the pressure on offence and defence the whole game, but sadly ran into a goalie (a callup) who pulled off some remarkable saves (particularly that last one, a glove save while lying on his back, that was truly miraculous) - kudos for an outstanding game. 

And last up was Brantford, who were apparently out to put an exclamation point on securing a first place finish in the Bristol division.  They came out tough, and finished off tougher, scoring 7 goals to the Wolves' 1, with shots coming thick and fast.  The Wolves did a particularly strong job on the penalty kill, as usual, but were unable to overcome the overpowering 99ers this time.  Maybe next time!

In the end, then, PW Black ended up in 6th place in the Bristol league, and will face Kitchener Red in the first round of the playdowns - a team whose defences they have admittedly struggled to break through recently.   Word is that the team is optimistic about their chances, and regardless looking forward to some well-fought games in the pointy end of the season.

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