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
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
"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.