Early on in this year’s playoffs, it appeared a new Ontario Junior Hockey League champion would be crowned.
Not so fast. The Trenton Golden Hawks, the 2016 champs, have come back to life following a slow postseason start.
And now the Golden Hawks are on the verge of getting one step closer to their goal of capturing back-to-back OJHL titles.
Trenton entered this year’s playoffs as the Number 1 seed in the league’s North-East Conference after posting an impressive 42-9-2-1 regular season mark.
The Golden Hawks were pitted against the eighth-seeded Newmarket Hurricanes in their opening playoff round.
A few eyebrows were raised when the Hurricanes, who had finished 37 points behind Trenton, won two of the first three games in the series. And Trenton’s Game 2 victory was by a mere 1-0 count.
The Hurricanes also had their chances to take a 3-1 series lead. But the Golden Hawks managed to pull out a 3-2 victory, in double overtime, in Game 4.
Then in Game 5, it appeared Newmarket would win its third match of the series. The Hurricanes were clinging to a 1-0 lead late in the game but the Golden Hawks came storming back, scoring four goals in the final six minutes of play.
Trenton also ended up winning the ensuing game as well capturing the series 4-2.
“There was no panic on our team,” Golden Hawks co-captain Lucas Brown said of his side after they found themselves trailing in the series.
“We have a lot older team than a lot of the other teams in the league. Our experience and maturity kicked in.”
The Golden Hawks now find themselves on a bit of a roll, enjoying a five-game winning streak.
Besides capturing the final three contests in their series against Newmarket, they also emerged victorious in their first two games of their best-of-seven conference semifinal series against the seventh-seeded Stouffville Spirit.
The Golden Hawks blanked Stouffville 4-0 in the series opener this past Friday in Trenton. And they took a 2-0 lead with another victory by four goals, 5-1, on Sunday afternoon in Stouffville.
Game 3 in the series is scheduled for Tuesday night in Trenton. Should the Golden Hawks came out on top again, they will have an opportunity to wrap up the series in Game 4 on Thursday in Stouffville.
Brown said the Golden Hawks have some lofty expectations this postseason. They are hoping to win three championships.
The first goal for the Trenton squad is to win the OJHL title again. The Golden Hawks are also hoping to take top honours at the Dudley Hewitt Cup, a national qualifying tournament they will host on May 2-6.
“We want to win everything possible,” Brown said. “Nobody wants to get to the Dudley Hewitt Cup through the back door.”
Trenton is also hoping to make its second consecutive appearance at nationals. Fellow OJHL rivals Cobourg Cougars are hosting this year’s RBC Cup tournament May 13-21.Back to Top
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