Many folks say they don’t care who wins! Whether it be a game, a series or championship. I don’t really believe fans don’t care who wins. As a fan you cheer for a team, perhaps not openly, but in every contest you are really rooting for someone. Even if it is just the truck race on the Friday night of a NASCAR weekend, you want someone to win.
Well I must report I have had one hell of a disappointing winter/spring. My support has been like the kiss of death. In the regular season of course I was urging the Braves on to a high as finish as possible. And with only a few games to go they were only 3 or 4 points out of first.But the last minute scramble left them in sixth, not all that bad, all things considered.
Well the first round was against Ian MacInnis’ Colts. I thought the Braves had a real good chance against the 3rd place Cornwall team. I felt even better as the series progressed. But that last second goal by Cornwall did the Braves in and it was really just a matter of time. We were out of our misery and out of the playoffs in six games.
So my support now went behind the Colts and their one man show Michael Pontarelli. How can you not like the league top scorer. He was the the CCHL MVP as well. In fact he garnered national titles as both MVP and Forward. Throw in 50 goals and 50 assists in just 50 games, as an old Rocket fan, I was impressed.
Well the Colts took 7 games but they eliminated Jason Clarke’s Canadians, and I had hoped for a 7 game series, as this allowed me to say, I both won and lost regardless of which team came out the victor.
On the other side of the CCHL playoffs bracket, I was torn, upstart Ottawa or traditional classy Nepean Raiders. I had to choose and thru my support behind Pete Goulet and the Raiders. Well they did make it thru to face the Colts in the CCHL Championship. (I always wondered why the team that finishes first after 62 games in not the champion? I don’t understand.)
I got my wish and we had a Colts / Raiders CCHL final round. And it was a classic series, although not quite the full seven games. All very close.
Look at those scores. And it was OT in the final game. Corey Durocher (another mental victory for me there) had both Nepean goals and Mr Hockey (sorry Gordie, but of the JR. variety) assisted on both the tying goal and the OT winner. On to the Fred Page Cup.
Meanwhile, back in the OHL… Of course I was now a tried and true Saginaw Spirit fan. They struggled to maintain a playoff sport in the West and at times had shots at as a high as 5th or 6th. Now if they would have been in the East they might have been 3rd. Well as the season dwindled down, the Soo pulled ahead but Erie and Windsor never mounted a real charge.
Round 1 was 8th (Saginaw) versus 1st (London). Although the Spirit went out in 4 straight, like the Braves, it was that Sunday afternoon in the Budweiser Gardens when the Knights scored with 1 second on the clock and then went on to win in the second overtime period. And they never looked back.
In the next round, I was pulling for Plymouth, where the Spirit’s captain Vinnie Trochek ended up on January 10. He went on to win the scoring title and be named the top forward in the OHL. Unfortunately those darn Knights eliminated the Whalers. My loss again.
In the East I had been pulling for Belleville but they suffered a game 7 loss to Barrie in the semi finals. Another favorite knocked out of contention. So I had to switch allegiance to the Barrie Colts after that against those damn London Knights. Another kiss of death for the Colts as the Knights came back to win that series. At least it wasn’t Domi but rather Bo Horvat who was the dominant player in that series.
The Fred Page Cup
Our (my) Colts made the trek down to Truro to represent the CCHL. They did an admirable job in a tourney that was definitely slanted against them. It came down to the final two games, the last round robin and the semi final.
And in the words/lyrics of Queen …….Another one bites the dust.
I couldn't win for losing as my sentimental favourite (see my previous blog about them) the Summerside Western Capitals ;
Bearcats win Fred Page Cup
May 5, 2013 - 8:12pm By GLENN MacDONALD Sports Reporter
Fife scores on breakaway in double overtime to lift Truro past Summerside
The Truro Bearcats celebrate their 3-2 double overtime win over the Summerside Western Capitals in the Fred Page Cup final in Truro on Sunday afternoon. (RYAN TAPLIN / Staff)
The Truro Bearcats captured their first Fred Page Cup championship in dramatic fashion on Sunday.
Philip Fife scored on a breakaway with 4:19 remaining in double overtime to lift the host Bearcats to a 3-2 victory over the Summerside Western Capitals in an all-Maritime Hockey League final before 2,174 fans at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre.
On To The RBC
Well underdog Summerside Western Capitals were not a dominant force in the round robin , but they did come up big in the semi where Chris Caissy scored 16:57 into overtime to give the Summerside Western Capitals a 3-2 semifinal win over the Surrey Eagles on Saturday night and send the host team to the championship game at the 2013 RBC Cup.
The other semi was a disappointment though. Pulling for the underdogs once again, I tried to will the Minnesota Wilderness in to the final, but another OT game saw “my” team bow out 5-4 .
The championship game saw an empty netter solidify the win against my Capitals. Cam Maclise scored once and added an assist to pace the offence as the Brooks Bandits were crowned national champions for the first time, beating the Summerside Western Capitals 3-1 in the final of the 2013 RBC Cup on Sunday night.
So Who’s Left ?
Well both Portland, nice logo, and Saskatoon are complete strangers to me. And I don’t think I would cheer for London even if they were playing Russia, so it looks like Halifax with Drouin, Mackinnon and Weegar. I came close to seeing Mackinnon this year but the one might they played in Hull was the same night the Saginaw Spirit were playing the 67s, so no real choice there.
Hoping my throwing my support behind the Mooseheads doesn’t spoil their shot at the Memorial Cup.