Their late season push for third place now over, the Dundas Blues are preparing for the first round of Niagara Division Junior C playoffs, which start the first week of February.
After losing to fourth place Chippawa last Thursday, the Blues kept a little hope alive with a 5-3 win Saturday over Paris. But they needed to win each of their last three games, and third place Dunnville had to lose their last two, for Dundas to have any shot at home ice advantage in the first round. Dunnville won Sunday night, ending the Blues’ hopes.
Dundas’ last two regular season games won’t mean much, so the team can now focus on their first-round playoff match-up against Chippawa. The series comes to Dundas on Feb. 5.
“Our game in Chippawa, we came out flat and fell behind early and couldn’t get back into the game,” Blues general manager Steve Aglor said. “On the bright side, we only lost by two goals with the way we played.”
Dundas played catch-up all night, failing to put the kind of pressure on Chippawa’s goalie that their netminder Mark Sinclair faced. He stopped 41 of 47 shots, while Chippawa’s goalie stopped 20 shots for the 6-4 win.
Aglor said Dundas had a full bench playing a strong game Saturday night in Paris.
“We started new goalie Tom Ritchie, that we picked up for our playoff run to back up Mark Sinclair. It was his first game ever of junior hockey and he did the job for us,” Aglor said.
Mitch Reid scored twice in the win, with single goals from Derek Searle, Josh Wiley and Brett Dell. Dell, Mat Charbonneau, Jordan Peacock, Kevin Jaczenko, Mitch Moriarity, Alex Aquin Searle and Reid all added assists.
While the Blues aren’t likely to move up the standings in the final two games, they might have an impact on who finishes first — Grimsby or Glanbrook.
The Blues travel to Glanbrook on Wed. Jan. 30, then return home to close the regular season on Thursday, Jan. 31. Dundas hosts Chippawa at Grightmire Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the first round of playoff action.
“We are hoping to see a big crowd out for the playoffs to cheer us on,” Aglor said.