MINOR HOCKEY REPORT: All Merritt showdown in the playoffs

By on March 7, 2018
Bantam rec goalie Manjot Panghli makes a stop at a game back in November. (Ian Webster/Herald).

Peewee Rec

The Joco Transport peewee rec team from Merritt played four games in three days in a gruelling playoff battle which saw them end two straight games in ties before dropping a pair to close out their season.

In the first game on March 2, the Merritt squad faced off against Lillooet in a low scoring affair. Simon Cisco started the scoring early in the first period, with the assist going to Brysen Pinyon. But Lillooet answered with one of their own only six minutes later. Merritt regained the lead in the second on a goal from Colton Ferris, assisted by Rae Bassett. But Lillooet dug deep to even things up in the third, as Joey John found the back of the net for the second time in the game, knotting the game at 2-2, which is where it would end.

The team’s next game on March 3 followed a similar script, with Merritt mounting a 2-1 lead after the first period on goals from Ella McKeown (assisted by Gregory Miller) and Isaac Asselstine. But the Thompson Cariboo team found their legs in the second and tied up the game 2-2. Jacob King tended to the net during both games.

But King failed to get run support in the third playoff game on March 4. Though Simon Cisco notched his second of the playoffs in the first, that was all the offense the team could muster. Clearwater put up two goals in each period en route to a 6-1 win.

Forced to regroup quickly, Merritt was under the gun in their fourth and final playoff game which took place only hours after their game against Clearwater. Pinyon and Cisco scored for Merritt, with Cisco adding an assist on Pinyon’s goal. But 100 Mile House came to play, dropping nine goals on a besieged Jacob King.

Bantam Rec

Merritt’s Alpha Design team benefited from the hometown advantage against Ashcroft in their first game of the playoffs on March 2, winning 2-1. Jayden Etchart scored with the assist going to Graycin Nicholls. Cameron Nicholls notched the second goal with the assist going to Jayden Etchart.

The next morning, the team played against 100 Mile House, winning by a definitive score of 11-1. C. Nicholls exploded for five goals with the assists going to Zach Dixon, Beau Paterson, Connor Kaboni and Bianca Cavaliere. G. Nicholls scored two goals with an assist going to Connor Ashley. Meanwhile Etchart and Taylor Nicholls added unassisted goals. The scoring was rounded out by Kylie Johnny assisted by T. Nicholls and Dixon scored with Blake Klassen assisting.

It was a double header on March 3, as the team faced off against Chase in the afternoon, coming out with a 9-3 win. Cavaliere got a hat trick with an assist going to Ashley. Dixon scored two goals with the lone assist going to Dayton Gregg and T. Nicholls. Single goals went to Etchart, Ashley and Gregg with all three goals assisted by G. Nicholls. C. Nicholls also scored with Ashley assisting.

On Sunday morning it was a tighter affair, as the team came away with a 6-5 win over Lillooet. Dixon scored two goals with the one being assisted by Reese Paterson and Blake Klassen and the other goal being assisted by T. Nicholls. Cortez Charters scored with Klassen assisting, Cavaliere scored with the assists going to Dixon and C. Nicholls. G. Nicholls scored the game tying goal with 2:54 left to play, assisted by Gregg, and then followed it up with the game winning goal with 20 seconds left. The goal was assisted by T. Nicholls.

It was an all-Merritt affair on Sunday afternoon, as the Alpha Design played their rivals from Murray GM.

Dixon had an unassisted goal, and then assisted on a goal from T. Nicholls. Bianca Cavaliere tied it up with Etchart and Paterson providing the assists. G. Nicholls once again scored the game winning goal assisted by Paterson and T. Nicholls with 2:25 left in the third.

This weekend, the Alpha Design and Murray GM teams will be back in action in a best-of-three series  will go on to play a best of three series.

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