The Hanover Barons beat the Mount Forest Patriots twice this past weekend to take a two games to one lead in their OHA Western Junior C quarter-final playoff round. The Barons got off to a rough start losing 4-0 to the Patriots in the opening game in Mount Forest but bounced back with a 5-4 overtime win on Friday night at the P&H Centre and then beat the Patriots the next night at home 5-2 for the lead in the series.
In the series opener in Mount Forest the Patriots scored three first period goals and went on to a 4-0 win in game one. Patriots goals scorers were Blair Butchart with two and single goals to Brandon Aitken and Ty Jackson. The Barons did not play all that badly in game one missing numerous opportunities including a missed penalty shot and at least two posts. Shots on goal were 46-39 for Mount Forest. The game did have a lot of penalties with the Barons racking up 81 minutes and the Patriots getting 56 minutes.
On Friday night at the P&H Centre in front of a crowd of 447 the Barons got on the scoreboard first when Jarrett Kuntz scored four minutes into the game assisted by Mitch Wand and Brodie LeMay. Blair Butchart tied it up for Mount Forest less than two minutes later and the first period ended tied at 1-1. In the second the Barons scored twice with Jarrett Kuntz getting his second of the game assisted by captain Denver Hill and the Minto connection of Cole Leslie assisted by Carson Ivel made it 3-1 Barons after two periods. In the final period the Patriots found their scoring touch getting three unanswered goals by Doug Ardis, Riley O’Connell and Brendon Aitken to get ahead 4-3 with 9 minutes remaining. At 13:42 Justin Graham evened the score at 4-4 when he scored assisted by Derek Williams forcing the game to overtime. At 10:46 of the overtime period it was Justin Graham again scoring for the Barons assisted by Matt Schields that gave the Barons the 5-4 win and tied the series at a game each. Cody Van der Heide stopped 37 of 41 shots in goal for the Barons and was chosen first star of the game.
In Mount Forest on Saturday night with a crowd of 550 fans the Barons struck first when defenseman Carson Ivel scored at 4:00 assisted by Denver Hill and Justin Graham. The Patriots replied with two goals of their own by Doug Ardis and Riley O’Connell only to have Baron Tanner Bastien tie it up late in the period. Assisting on the Bastien goal were Matt Shields and Tanner Mighton. The second period was a penalty filled affair with the Barons having numerous power plays but were only able to score once on 24 shots on goal. The Barons goal scorer was Mitch Pike assisted by Cole Leslie and Mitch Wand. In the third period Mitch Wand scored an unassisted goal short-handed at 1:09 for a 4-2 lead and Jarrett Kuntz added an empty net goal for the 5-2 win. Cody Van der Heide again played well in net for the Barons stopping 39 of 41 shots.
The Barons play at home on Tuesday Feb 9 and in Mount Forest on Friday Feb 12. If necessary the Barons play at home on Saturday Feb 13 at 8:00 at the P&H Centre.