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TNT caps comeback with Triple OT winner

Posted February 24, 2014

Last week, TNT's Midget AA squad was facing a mountainous task of having to win its three remaining games against the Newmarket Redmen to advance to the OMHA semifinals. A loss in any of the matches and the provincial dreams were over.

Last night, in front of the home crowd at the NTRC, TNT did just that, needing triple overtime to finish the comeback and push Newmarket out of the OMHA playoffs. TNT forced the deciding sixth game by winning in Newmarket Friday night.

Sunday night, Newmarket charged out hard, notching the first goal of the game. The teams traded chances most of the night in what proved to be a very physical game. With TNT trailing 3-2 in the third, and only 1:16 to play, TNT's Adrian Markus fired the puck deep into Newmarket territory, setting up for an extra attacker.  What happened next can only be described as "unbelievable".  The puck hit the end boards, bounced towards the side of the net. The Newmarket goalie tiptoed around the puck, only to have it deflect off his skate and into the net, tying the game 3-3.

The first overtime settled nothing, as did the second extra frame. But with 5 minutes to go in the third overtime, Dalton Payne ripped a wrist shot from the left side face off circle, over the Newmarket goalie's shoulder, completing TNT's comeback.

"I can't explain what happened in this series, all I know is that our guys never quit," said TNT coach Scott Hutchinson. "They have never quit. Newmarket had us on the ropes on more than one occasion, but they could not break our will. To come back from 5-1pts, what can you say. I thought Friday night was a crazy finish, now this one? Our guys simply wanted it more I guess. I could not be more proud of them."

Hutchinson said the last time a major Midget entry won at the OMHA level, was in 1977, a team coached by his late father, who passed away in 1995.

"Maybe he helped kick in the tying goal," he said. "There is something magical happening, I can feel it."

TNT now moves on to the semi-final round and will meet the Clarington Toros. The series schedule is pending. Orangeville Flyers play the Windsor Junior Spitfires, in the other series.