Hockey night, no it was a hockey afternoon this Thursday at the Community Memorial Centre here in Smiths Falls, with the Settlers hosting the Maniwaki Mustangs for the third of three game to decide the Eastern Division finals of the CPJHL.
Bright rays of sunlight steamed into the building, bathing the rink in glittering light. A large crowd of excited fans filled the ranks, showing support to both teams stomping with their feet, banging with sticks and of course bringing out the air horns.
The Settlers wasted no time bringing on the first score of the game three minutes into the play with a goal by Joe Palermo, assisted by Jordan Ribbink and Felix Stephen. The Mustangs tied the game half a minute later with a score by Hakim Ratt. But the Settlers gained the lead again when Otto Thomas achieved an unassisted goal 13.28 minutes into the period.
The second period saw the counter offensive by the Mustangs, first with a score by Sheldon Dube for a tie, and later by Anthony Bédard to bring them to a lead.
Raymond Jolly, assisted by Shonwahnokon Thompson, turned the tide around for the Settlers 11.02 minutes to go in the third period to even the score board. Jolly then went on to push his team to the top with an unassisted goal at the 16.50 mark. Maniwaki decided to go all or nothing and took out their goalie, which in the end cost them another score, when Shonwahnokon Thompson hit the empty net with only 28 seconds left.
The Settlers won 5-3 and have now moved on to play the Championship Finals against the Essa Stallions. The March 17th Saturday game, the second of the series, will be played at the Memorial Centre at 8.00pm, don’t miss it.
First Star of the game went to Raymond Jolly, Second Star went to Shonwahnokon Thompson, and Third Star went to Hakim Ratt (Mustangs).