Port Dover Sailors next home game Thursday night 8:30 p.m. start

The Sailors team and bench at Sunday’s game 3 which saw the Sailors face constant pressure from Grimsby.

By Jan Dean

IT’S the first time in 26 years the Port Dover Junior C hockey team has made it to the second series in the playoffs and every game draws more than 200 fans.
The problem is that they’re now facing the Grimsby Peach Kings — a team that won 37 of their 42 regular season games and beat the Sailors every time they played.
The first two games of the series were in Grimsby on Wednesday and Friday of last week. Grimsby took both games with a score of 4-2.
Not catastrophic and fans and parents who saw the games say the Sailors played well.
In the first series against the Niagara Riverhawks, the Sailors were the smaller, faster skaters who were able to out-skate their opponents because they skated four lines instead of the two lines the Riverhawks relied on.
That’s no longer the case.
The Peach Kings are big, fast and also play four lines. Exhausting them isn’t really an option.
The Sailors need to outplay them.
According to Sailors Head Coach Mike Tobin, they came very close in both Grimsby games.
“We’re so close to winning,” said Tobin. “A little more grit, a little more effort and it will happen.”
In Wednesday’s game, Sailors goalie Andrew Hawkins got the loss, but saved 53 shots on goal.
The Sailors took 30 shots on Grimsby, scoring once in the first period and again in the second period.
Sailor Ashton Mikasko scored first on a power play, aided by Steve Goeree and Eric Mueller.
Grimsby responded with two goals in the first period scored by Colin Kijowski and Brady Cranwell.
In the second period, Sam Restivo scored, again on a power play, assisted by Brent Mio and Connor McQuhae.
That goal was answered by two more Grimsby goals the same period scored by Brennan Smith and Jacob Balca.
The Sailors largely stayed out of the penalty box — taking four penalties for eight minutes in penalties. Grimsby committed six infractions to spend 12 minutes in the sin bin.
Almost the same pattern was repeated in the second game of the series on Friday night in Grimsby.
Sailors goalie Adam Siek got the loss but saved 32 shots on net while his team-mates took 28 shots on Grimsby goalie Riley Eberhardt.
Where the Sailors took seven penalties for 14 minutes in the penalty box. Grimsby spent 16 minutes in the box on eight infractions.
This time Grimsby opened the scoring in the first period with a goal from Jacob Balca. Port Dover answered that goal with one of their own in the second period on a power play. That goal was scored by Matt Scanlin assisted by Steve Goeree and Michael Boateng.
The tie only lasted a few minutes before Grimsby scored twice more with a goal from Addison DeTullio goal and one from Michael Tilbury.
In the third period each team scored on power plays. The Sailors goal was the second from Matt Scanlin, assisted by Eric Mueller and Steve Goeree. The Grimsby goal was scored by Brady Cranwell.
The Sailors have clearly figured out that when playing a team as strong as Grimsby, you take advantage of power plays.
The third game on Sunday afternoon in Port Dover wasn’t as strong for the Sailors who lost 7-1.
“We just didn’t come out ready to play today,” said Tobin. “Maybe 12 of 18 players were really playing. We need accountability from all our players.”
The sole Sailors goal came in the second period from Austin Grech on a power play, assisted by Sam Restivo. Steve Goeree had an unsuccessful penalty shot also in that period.
Grimsby goals were scored by Addison DeTullio, David McKinnon on a power play, and Adam Kozlowski in the first period. RY Beattie scored short-handed for Grimsby in the second period. Grimsby’s three goals in the third period were scored by Adam Kozlowski on a power play, RY Beattie, and Brady Cranwell.
Each team had 10 infractions with Grimsby players sentenced to the penalty box for 26 minutes while Port Dover got 34 minutes. That included two misconduct calls against Sailors Lynden Lemoire which resulted in him receiving a game misconduct in the third period.
Grimsby has a great team.
But after reporting on most of the Sailors home games, I find I have metamorphosed from reporter to fan.
I absolutely believe the Sailors can put together a winning game and I’ll be standing at the boards for game 4 of the series in Port Dover on Thursday night at 8:30 p.m.
Join me and cheer on our Sailors.


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