It’s been said ‘it’s not a playoff series until you lose at home’. Through three games of the OJLL semi-final series the Orangville Northmen and Whitby Warriors had not. Orangeville needed the trend to continue, however, to keep their season alive. After another thrilling back-and-forth game the Northmen did get the 12-10 victory, forcing a fifth and deciding game.
Despite Adam Poitras scoring in the opening minute of the game, Orangeville scored five goals in the first period – two from Koleton Marquis – to chase starter Liam Wright. Poitras would respond with a goal seven seconds later although Whitby still trailed 5-3 after the first.
The second opened the same way – a quick Whitby goal, this time from Parker Pipher, and then an extended Orangeville run, this time with a pair from Liam Matthews. Whitby would once again swap goaltenders before the teams traded goals to end the period with the Northmen up 10-5.
Lucas Littlejohn and Brock Haley opened the third by scoring eleven seconds apart. Poitras added his fourth of the game, putting the Warriors down by just a pair. Littlejohn answered a Trey Deere within thirty-two seconds to keep the score within two. From there Wright and Orangeville netminder Chris Origlieri and the defenses were sensational. All told, Origlieri stopped twenty-three shots in the third, and Wright turned aside eleven in the period.
With Wright on the bench, Littlejohn completed his hat trick cutting under his defender to pull within one. A pair of chances in the dying seconds were saved by Origlieri. The ball bounced to Nate Ruff, who took off down the floor, icing the 12-10 win causing the fans inside Tony Rose arena to erupt.
Koleton Marquis led Orangeville with a six point night (2 goals, 4 assists). Trey Deere finished with four points (3 goals, 1 assist) as did Liam Matthews (2 goals, 2 assists) and Cam Sanderson (1 goal, 3 assists).
Adam Poitras had a monster night in a losing adding seven points (4 goals, 3 assists) to his playoff total. He now has forty through seven games (16 goals, 24 assists) tying teammate Brock Haley (21 goals, 19 assists) who had four points in game four (1 goal, 3 assists). Lucas Littlejohn also had four points adding an assist to his hat trick.
Game five is scheduled for Friday night at 8pm in Whitby. The winner will not only advance to the Iroquois Trophy Finals, but will gain an automatic berth to the Minto Cup to be held at the CAA Centre in Brampton August 22nd to 29th.