Saints Pushed to the Brink of Elimination As Gaels Take Game 2

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June 25 – The first Jr. B playoff game in Newmarket in three years had the Saints looking to even their series with the Gaels. They’d be in tough as Clarington’s attack only got stronger with the return of one of its top scorers. Meanwhile, Newmarket came in missing some key players.

The Saints made in a change in goal for Game 2, starting Dylan Munro, while the Gaels countered with Brett Underwood. 

Early on, the Saints held their own against the regular season East champs. Munro and the team’s defence limited the Gaels chances and even killed off an early four-minute power play.  But they couldn’t sustain the momentum and Clarington’s offence broke through with under seven minutes to play in the period. They’d go on to add three more to go into the break leading 4-0.

In the second, the Gaels didn’t let up. They managed two more five minutes in as the Saints continued to battle. Things boiled over a few minutes later as a delayed Gaels penalty set off a scrum, punctuated by a spirited tussle between Luca Romano and Will Carnduff. The Saints tried, but couldn’t manage to capitalize on the ensuing 5-on-3 power play. A few minutes later, another Gaels tally broke the dam and saw Clarington find the net five more times to take an 11-0 stranglehold into the intermission.

The third period was more of the same. The Gaels added another six goals in the frame, while the Saints came close, but just couldn’t find the back of the net. The win gives the Gaels a 2-0 lead in the best of five series.

“Not much you can say about that one,” said Saints Head Coach, Dan Ransom Sr. “But the guys didn't quit and they put the effort in until the final buzzer; the execution and timing just weren't where they needed to be.”

Final score: Gaels 17 – Saints 0.

Up next – the Saints look to extend the series, and their season, in Game 3 Thursday night. First faceoff is set for 8PM at Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex

Saints Get A Rough Welcome to the Playoffs As Gaels Take Game 1

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June 22nd – The Saints and Gaels opened the 2018 Ontario Jr B playoffs in Clarington on Thursday night. To say that many of Newmarket’s players were getting their first taste of the postseason is an understatement, as only one Saint had played in a Jr B playoff game prior to faceoff.  

That Saints turned to Cory Campbell in goal for Game 1, while the Gaels sent out Steven Walsh. Right away, Clarington showed their experience, taking it to Newmarket and scoring three times in the first two minutes. They found the back of the net two more times and held a 5-0 lead halfway through the frame. The Saints seemed to settle in a little after that with newcomer Matt Cromie scoring his first as a Saint on a nice fake inside. Luca Romano then followed that up with another tally less than a minute later. The Gaels would add two more before the period ended, while Riley Woodcox answered for Newmarket to head into the break with Clarington leading 7-3.

In the second, the Gaels opened the scoring two minutes in. The Saints got an opportunity to reply right away with a power play. Some great ball movement by the five guys on the floor finished with Angus Rawding sneaking one by Walsh to make it 8-4. But that’s where the momentum stopped for Newmarket. Good transition and pressure defence put the Saints on their heels and the Gaels capitalized. They went on a five goal run, punctuated by a back-breaking tally with only one second left on the clock. At the break, the Gaels led 13-4.

The third period wasn’t any prettier. The Gaels kept their foot on the gas and put up another seven on the board. The Saints we're only able to answer with a pair, as Woodcox and Luca Romano each netted their second goals of the game. 

“That was a learning experience for our group.” said Saints Head Coach Dan Ransom Sr. “We we're a little wide-eyed early on and they capitalized, that's what veteran teams do. We will be better Sunday, we have to be.”

Final score: Gaels 20 - Saints 6.

Up next – Game 2 goes Sunday night in Newmarket. First faceoff is set for 7PM at Ray Twinney Recreation Complex.

As usual, all Redbirds players and coaches get in for free. But the Saints are offering a deal - all Redbirds families (adults) will enjoy a special offer of 2 for $12.00. Come out and cheer on the Saints as they host their first playoff game since 2015.


Saints Clinch Playoff Spot With 11-7 Win Over Kings

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June 17 – Win and you’re in. The goal was as simple as that for the Saints as they traveled north to Orillia Saturday night to play the Kings. Separated by two points coming in, the two sides had so far split the season series, with each team winning at home. The rubber match would decide who would go to the playoffs.

Dylan Munro took the net for the Saints, while the Kings countered with Dylan O’Rourke. From the first whistle, it was Orillia that took charge. The Kings fired home four straight goals, all in transition and all in the first seven minutes of the game. Dougie Crawford put the Saints on the board a few minutes later on the powerplay, but another Orillia goal gave them a 5-1 lead after one period.

In the second, the Saints woke up. Luca Romano got things started only 27 seconds in, potting his first of the game. He followed it up with another a minute later. Orillia answered to make it 6-3, but the momentum had turned. Josh Connors, Liam Hamilton and Romano, with his third on a penalty shot, all scored to make it 6-6. The Saints thought they’d taken the lead, but confusion on the release of a penalty saw a goal called back. The second finished with the teams knotted at six.

The Saints carried the energy from the second into the final frame. Riley Woodcox gave Newmarket the lead just under six minutes in. Orillia tied it with less than eight minutes to go, but then, a four goal flurry from the Saints put the game away.  Brandon Tanacs kicked it off, followed by a pair from Woodcox, capping off his second hat trick in as many games, and a final tally from Angus Rawding. With the victory, the Saints secured the final playoff spot in the East.

"It's the result we wanted, but again our start has to be better,” said Saints Head Coach, Dan Ransom Sr. “Credit to that group over there, they're well coached and they jumped on our mistakes early; but we were able to stem the tide. It was great to walk into that room and see the excitement from the boys, they've earned the right to play in the post-season" 

Final score: Saints 11 - Kings 7.

Up next – Playoffs! The Saints are drawing the #1 seed, the Clarington Green Gaels in round one. Game one goes Thursday in Clarington at 8PM at Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex. Game 2 is scheduled for 7PM Sunday night at Ray Twinney Recreation Complex.

Saints Boost Playoff Hopes by Besting Ironheads 9-7

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June 16 – The chase for the final playoff spot in the East made a stop in West Durham on Friday night. The Saints and Ironheads have gotten very familiar with each other, playing three times in the last three weeks. The two sides came in tied in the standings, although the Saints did own the tiebreaker having won their previous two meetings.

Starting goaltenders were Cory Campbell for the Saints and Tyler Newman for the Ironheads.

When play began, both teams opened a little tentative, seemingly feeling the pressure of what was at stake. The Ironheads struck first, about six minutes in, only to have Angus Rawding answer three minutes later. The game stayed tied until just under three minutes left when the Ironheads scored twice in eleven seconds. Brandon Tanacs would get one back for the Saints with a missle from 20 feet out to make it 3-2.  Then, with time winding down, a fracas broke out in the Ironheads zone. Two fights resulted in four players being ejected, including two of the Saints’ top scorers. 

Newmarket regrouped in the intermission, but an early power play goal by West Durham put them up 4-2. The fights and the score seemed to only embolden the Saints who slowly began to take over the game and, in a three minute span, they also took their first lead. Riley Woodcox got it started, quickly followed by Connors’ second to tie it. Then Woodcox buried again and it was 5-4 Saints. With two minutes left, the Saints blew it open as Brodie Willard, Dante Romano and Woodcox, his third of the game, pushed the score to 8-4 at intermission.

The third period was a tight defensive battle, punctuated by some great stops by Campbell and Newman. The Ironheads cut it to 8-5 with 14 minutes to go. Tanacs replied on the power play to restore the Saints’ four-goal lead. The Ironheads snuck two more by Campbell,  but that was it. With the win, Newmarket eliminated West Durham from playoff contention.

“Extremely proud of our group. That was a hot barn, the stakes were high and we delivered,” said Saints Head Coach, Dan Ransom Sr. “The young guys are excited, but it's the vets who've been through some lean years that really deserved this (a shot at the post-season). Tonight, we put ourselves one step closer to our goal.”

Final score: Saints 9 - Ironheads 7.

Up next – the Saints can clinch a playoff spot in their final game of the regular season, Saturday night in Orillia. Game starts at 8PM at Rotary Place.

Saints Fall to Bulldogs in Final Home Game of the Season

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June 13 – The Saints were looking to even their season series against the Bulldogs on Tuesday night in Newmarket. The two teams went to overtime earlier this year, with Halton Hills coming away with an 11-10 victory. Both sides also had a lot of new faces post-trade deadline as the Saints shipped a pair of players to Nepean, while the Bulldogs acquired four.

Dylan Munro started for Newmarket, while Halton Hills gave the nod to Samuel Haines.

Starts have been an issue for the Saints lately and this game was no different as the Bulldogs got on the board just over a minute in. Defence and goaltending took over for a while after that with neither offence being able to generate much over the next ten minutes. That changed quickly as the Bulldogs struck three times in just over three minutes to go into the break with a 4-0 lead.

The second period started with the Saints killing a five-minute major. Several lengthy possessions wore the PK down and the Bulldogs capitalized with a pair of power play goals to make it 6-0. Despite the hole, the Saints didn’t quit. Luca Romano threaded the needle to a wide-open Liam Hamilton who fired a shot from 15-feet out to get Newmarket on the board.  Less than two minutes later, Hamilton buried again and the score was 6-2.

Shortly after, a disagreement at centre had the Saints come out behind on penalties, giving the Bulldogs another three minute advantage. Led by Munro, the Saints penalty killers stood tall and steered away all chances. Kavon Pinnock also broke in all alone and scored, only to have the goal waved off due to a commotion at the end of the floor. Before the period closed out, the Bulldogs added one more to make it 7-2.

In the third, the Saints came out running as Dante Romano corralled a loose ball, ran the floor and ripped home a ten-footer. The Saints kept pressing, but that’s as close as they would get. Halton Hills scored once more to make it 8-3 and that’s how it ended.

“It's a three period game and we really only showed up for the last two” said Saints Head Coach, Dan Ransom Sr. "It's not the result we wanted after a couple big wins last week, but I think that our group has really started to gel. Two more (games) this weekend and we control our fate." 

Final score: Bulldogs 8 – Saints 3.

Up next – another massive game as the Saints can clinch a playoff spot against the Ironheads on Friday. Game time is 8PM at Pickering Recreation Complex.

Saints Make it Two in a Row With Dominating Win Over Ironheads

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June 11 – The storylines were stacked up and the stakes were sky high ahead of Sunday’s tilt between the Saints and Ironheads. Only two points separated them in the standings, with West Durham narrowly holding on to the final playoff spot in the East. Simply put, this was the biggest game of the year for both teams.

Cory Campbell got the nod in net for the Saints, while the Ironheads countered with Tyler Newman. 

The opening frame started tentatively as both sides eased into the game, but that changed in a flash near the five-minute mark. The Ironheads struck three times in under a minute to run out to an early lead. The Saints could’ve crumbled, but instead they dug in, starting with an outside rip from Captain Eric Mawdsley to get Newmarket on the board. Angus Rawding followed that up with a pair of goals in 39 seconds, and just like that, the game was even again.  The first period buzzer sounded with score at 3-3.

In the second, the Saints ratcheted up the pace and took their first lead on Mawdsley’s second of the game. A few minutes later, Dante Romano extended the lead to 5-3. Penalty trouble reared up for the Saints after that, with the team playing with four or fewer guys for most of the rest of the period. Despite being down, it did little to slow the Saints. Josh Connors scored four-on-four to make it 6-3; then, on a big penalty kill of a five-minute major, Kavon Pinnock and Dougie Crawford added shorthanded tallies. The Ironheads managed to score once in the period to go into the break with the Saints up 8-4.

The third period was a wild one with five goals, four on the power play, scored and 56 minutes of penalties handed out. Luca Romano and Mawdsley, his third and fourth of the game, scored for the Saints. Luca also ended his night early after a mild disagreement with Riley Rogers with 30 seconds to go.

“Proud of our group. We knew we had to take care of business at home and we did just that.” said Saints Head Coach, Dan Ransom Sr. "It was a playoff type atmosphere and tensions ran high, but we need to stay out of the box if we want to have a shot at the dance."

Final score: Saints 11 - Ironheads 6.

Up next - the Saints drive for the post-season continues Tuesday night as they host the Halton Hills Bulldogs. First faceoff is set for at 8PM at Ray Twinney Recreation Complex.

Offensive Outburst and Strong D Power the Saints Passed the Excelsiors

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June 8 – Game number 16 on the schedule for the Saints brought the Brampton Excelsiors north to Newmarket. The contest was a must-win in the Saints’ drive for the playoffs and the boys deleivered.

Cory Campbell got the nod in net for Newmarket, while Jacob Ferreira started for Brampton.

In the opening frame, the Saints controlled the play. Great ball movement set up Brandon Tanacs who quick-sticked home the first goal of the game.  Five minutes later, Eric Mawdsley made it 2-0. Brampton would get one back, but Dougie Crawford replied before the end of the period with an outside shot that slipped through to send the teams to intermission with the Saints up 3-1.

The second period started with the Excelsiors on the power play and Brampton’s captain, Zachary Sunderland, fired one home to cut the Saints lead to one. The two sides settled in for a bit after that until a wild two minutes that saw four goals scored. Kavon Pinnock got it going finishing on a shorthanded fast-break. Brampton got it back 21 seconds later only to have Brodie Willard restore the lead 11 seconds after that. A minute later Crawford made it 6-3. Joel Wright, making his Saints return and season debut, ripped a shot from 20-feet out on another fast-break and Luca Romano buried on a late power play. The score at the end of the period was 8-4 for the Saints.

In the third, a Brampton goal only 29 seconds in cut Newmarket’s lead to three, but rather than let the Excelsiors start a run, the Saints stepped up and snuffed out any momentum. Mawdsley’s second of the game pushed the score to 9-5. Angus Rawding added two of his own in the period, while Aidan Fearn, scoring his first goal in Junior B, wrapped up the scoring.

“We came out and took care of business, plain and simple,” said Saints Head Coach, Dan Ransom Sr. “Despite what the standings say, that’s a talented team on the other side. But our goaltending and defence stood tall, while our offence delivered. Most importantly, the W puts us right where we need to be to make that push for a playoff spot.”

Final score: Saints 12 - Excelsiors 5.

Up next – you don’t want to miss Sunday’s pivotal game as the Saints take on the Ironheads. Only two points separate the teams in the standings as both look to secure the final playoff spot in the East. Game time is 8PM at Ray Twinney Recreation Complex.

Undermanned Saints Fall to the Hunters in Kahnawake

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June 4 – Game two of the Saints road trip to the Far East took the boys to Kahnawake to play the Hunters. Newmarket came in with a short bench due to some injuries and only had 13 runners. Dylan Munro started for the Saints, while the Hunters countered with Patrick Pollock.

Scoring was not a problem in the first period as the two sides combined for 13 goals. Kahnawake took the early lead, before Josh Connors answered on the power play. The Hunters got two more and then Brodie Willard scored on a deflection on another power play. That set the stage for a furious finish in the last three minutes of the period. The Hunters added four more, while Saints rookie Dougie Crawford put home three of his own, including one with a second left on the clock. The first ended with the Hunters up 8-5.

The second opened up promising with Crawford scoring his fourth of the game on the power play. But then the Hunters ramped it up and the fatigue began to set in for the Saints. Kahnawake scored seven unanswered goals over an eight-minute span to take a stranglehold on the scoreboard. Luca Romano got one back for the Saints, which the Hunters matched with only 17 seconds left. 16-7 was the score heading into the intermission.

The final frame was the least eventful scoring wise, bookended by Crawford’s fifth of the game and a pair from Dante Romano. In between, the Hunters scored four more times.

“Short-staffed and banged up, our group competed start to finish.” said Saints Head Coach, Dan Ransom Sr. “It was a team building weekend and we're excited to move forward. ”

Final score: Hunters 20 – Saints 10.

Up next – the Saints continue their push for the playoffs on Thursday against the Brampton Excelsiors. Game time is set for 8PM at Ray Twinney Recreation Complex.