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.