After the Six Nations Arrows sent the Peterborough Lakers home from the OLA Junior A playoffs on Sunday night, the Whitby Warriors returned home to host the Orangeville Northmen for game five of their best-of-seven series. On Sunday night Orangeville hosted game four and despite a three-goal run in the first by Whitby and a late third period marker, the Northmen held on to win 5-4 and lead the series three games to one.
On Monday night, looking to put the Warriors away and clinch a date with the Arrows for the Junior A championship, the Northmen scored in the opening minute and took a 3-0 lead in the first. Curtis Knight would get one back for Whitby, but his club would still trail 3-1 at the break. It took a full ten minutes before Zach Palmer scored in the second followed a hundred seconds later by Emerson Clark to tie the game at three. The deadlock was short lived though as Orangeville scored three in three minutes, including Jordan Critch’s second of the game with thirty-six seconds to play in the second, to lead 6-3 after two.
Orangeville continued the third where they left off as Brad Gillies scored eighteen seconds into the final period. Rob Hellyer added a goal less than a minute later, and Hayden Smith completed the run ninety seconds following that goal. The tally capped a six-goal run spanning two periods. Whitby would score four to end the game – three with an extra player on the floor (one on the powerplay, two with the goalie out) – but it would only draw them within two goals. The final horn would sound on the game, and the series as Orangeville wins 9-7.
However, as the horn ended the series, it did not end Whitby’s season. As hosts of the 2012 Minto Cup, the Warriors will already be playing in that series. They will now take two weeks off to regroup and prepare to defend their Canadian Junior A Championship. Meanwhile, the Six Nations Arrows will have home floor advantage for the finals against the Northmen. At the time of this writing, no schedule had been announced. The winner of that series will also play for the Minto Cup.
Once the schedule is released, we here at inlacrossewetrust.com will have it as we continue to cover all OLA action. At that time, head to www.webcast-sports.com for their broadcast schedule of the finals. All games that will be broadcast will be on a pay-per-view basis at $7 per game.