The Smiths Falls Settlers played another fine game of play-off season hockey Monday night. Wait a minute you say, were they not supposed to play the EOHA Sunday instead? Technically yes, but fans were greeted with an empty rink Sunday. What happened? As it turns out, the EOHA team was disqualified for not providing home rink time as well as bringing in players from other teams. That automatically propelled the Settlers to the Eastern Division Finals, but also saw their management team frantically looking for new rink time at the Community Centre. In any case, they pulled of the seemingly impossible, and the Settlers greeted the Manawaki Mustangs Monday night for the first of a Best-of-Three game to the delight of the many fans showing support for both teams.
The first score of the game went to the Settler’s Felix Stephen, a powerplay goal assisted by Raymond Jolly and Ollie Berndtsson. The Mustangs tied the game with a powerplay goal by Jonathan Dumont, and gained the upper hand with yet another goal by Dumont later in the first period. Maverick Baxtrom evened the score board for the Settlers with 1.50 to go in the first period, assisted by Jovani Moses and Joe Palermo.
And the Settlers surely were on a roll, continuing scoring during the second period. Max Mulhall scored first with assists by Otto Thomas and Shonwahnokon Thompson, and Thompson, assisted by Darius Shashaweskum, added another goal with only 24 seconds left of the second period.
The third period saw no scoring, although the Mustangs battled hard to make up the loss and almost managed a score at literally the last second.
First Star of the game went to Reilly Degray, Second Star went to Kyle Fritz, and Third Star went to Liam Austing (Mustangs).
The Settlers and Mustangs meet again Tuesday night at Manawaki, and depending on its outcome, they could play another game here at home Thursday afternoon at 3pm. Should the Settlers win the Eastern Finals, they would then play one of the Championship Round games here at the Memorial Community Centre.