Ottawa, ON – Sunday March 3rd at 3pm., the Perth Blue Wings will host the Brockville Tikis in game one of their best of seven Richardson Division Semi-Final series.
Schedule: Perth (27-12-5) vs. Brockville (24-14-6)
GM 1 – Sunday March 3/19 @ 3:00PM – @ Perth Arena
GM 2 – Wednesday March 6/19 @ 7:30PM – @ Brockville Memorial Centre
GM 3 – Friday March 8/19 @ 7:30PM – @ Perth Arena
GM 4 – Saturday March 9/19 @ 6:00PM – @ Brockville Memorial Centre
GM 5 – Tuesday March 12/19 @ 7:30PM – @ Perth Arena *If necessary
GM 6 – Wednesday March 13/19 @ 7:30PM – @ Brockville Memorial Centre *If necessary
GM 7 – Friday March 15/19 @ 7:30PM – @ Perth Arena *If necessary
This rivarlry is now back and this series will be one entertaining one to watch. Last year, Brockville only had just six wins in the regular season and made a big turnaround this year. The Tikis managed to get 24 wins and Perth had 27 wins. The Blue Wings have made the playoff in the last four years since CCHL2 existed.
During the season series, the Blue Wings won the series 3-1 after beating them 4-3 in OT during their final meeting on February 13th. Two of the four wins Perth had to comeback down 3-0. The Blue Wings outscored the Tikis 13-to-10.
November 2nd: Perth 3, Brockville 0
November 14th: Brockville 4, Perth 2
January 26th: Perth 4, Brockville 3
February 13th: Perth 4, Brockville 3 (OT)
Perth’s keys to victory:
Head coach Michael McLean says the key to their success will be a ‘Championship Effort’, MENTAL Toughness and playing ‘our Team System’ against the HIGH powered, very talented Tikis. McLean also mentioned that Brockville is strong offensively and that they need to play their team system, defend hard, and stay out of the pentalty box – and remain disciplined and patient at all times. Brockville’s power-play only ranked 9th in the league (16.5%) and had 158 goals in the regular season which ranked 8th in CCHL2. Brockville could possibly take over if the Blue Wings don’t stick to the game plan.
This series could come down to goaltending. Jordan Yaremchuk and Brayden Kelso had outstanding seasons for Brockville. McLean says, “the Tikis have OUTSTANDING goaltending – a HUGE reason they had such an amazing season. Their goaltenders give them a chance to win every night. They rarely have a bad night. We will need 50+ shots per night – with TONS of pucks and people going to the net to have any chance of scoring. If he sees it – he will stop it. We must shoot and drive the net to score.”
Jonathan Peacock had an amazing fourth and final season with Perth. The Kanata, Ontario native was 18-9-4, 3 shutouts, 2.55 GAA and .918 SV%. McLean says he will need him to step up his game when it comes to the playoffs. “I expect Jonathan Peacock to give us a chance every game of this series. Proven Winner. He hates being ‘discounted and over-looked which is what has happened this season and this series,” said McLean.
On the forward side Corey Symington, Ty Power, Dylan Sharpley, and Tyler Murphy must step it up as veterans. Symington had a 30 goal season, Power collected 60 points, and Sharpley registered 13 goals and 32 points in 41 games this season. On defense, they will need Sam Wilson to be stellar, after he had himself a great year with six goals, 23 assists, 29 points. Jacob Steege, Vinny Quattrochi, James Redmond and Matthew O’Brien will also need to step it up on defense.
Finally, McLean talked about some of the strengths that the Brockville Tikis have.
“Brockville presents many challenges for us – their Team Speed is a HUGE weapon. They love to score off the rush and always attack with speed. Their Power Play is a difference maker. We MUST stay out of the penalty box or we will NOT win. Again, their goaltending is fantastic. We must get TONS of pucks and traffic to the net.”
Brockville’s keys to victory:
Head Coach of the year Andrew Dickson says the keys to success is to have great special teams, great goaltending and team game. Their power play was 9th in the league but penalty kill sits 7th out of all 16 teams this year at (84.9%). For the Blue Wings, they were 6th on the power play (18.1%) and penalty kill was 4th (86.6%).
Jordan Yaremchuk was 12-5-3, 1 shutout, 2.96 GAA and .907 SV%. He could be the goaltender that will start most of the games in this series. Brayden Kelso had one Junior A game with the Braves this season and was 6-6-1, 3.08 GAA and .900 SV%. Both of those goaltenders were solid in the regular season and are set to face playoff experience for the first time in their careers.
Speaking of playoff experiences, Dickson said “against a team like Perth, we will need the goaltending to step up. We have a team with zero playoff experience against a older group in Perth, so the team effort will need to be 100%.”
The Tikis have only one ’98 born player on this team and its Austin Caza. He only had six goals and six assists in 20 games this year. This player could be a potential player to step up. Paul-Fine Lease, Tyler Toomey and Ryan Hunter all had 19 goals this year and must produce in order to win. The only player to hit 21 goals was Ryan Glazer. Those are some of the guys to watch out for in this series.
Earlier in the year, the Tikis had two 3-0 leads against Perth but just couldn’t find a way to win while leading in a hockey game. Dickson said. “Yes all games were close and hard fought. To hold a lead against a team like Perth, you got to stay focused for a complete 60 minutes to give yourselves any chance.”
The key in this series for both teams is goaltending. The Perth Blue Wings have their number against Brockville because of the playoff experience but the young Tikis could do damage. Home wins will be critical in order to win the seven game series. Fans wouldn’t be surprised if this series goes to either six or seven games.