Ottawa, Ontario – The Perth Blue Wings will host the Arnprior Packers inside the Perth Arena on Friday March 25th 2022 in game one of a best of five Richardson Division Semi-Finals.
Game 1: Friday March 25th @ 7:30pm – Perth Arena
Game 2: Saturday March 26th @ 4:30pm – Nick Smith Arena
Game 3: Monday March 28th @ 7:30pm – Perth Arena
*Game 4: Wednesday March 30th @ 8:00pm – Nick Smith Arena
*Game 5: Friday April 1st @ 7:30pm – Perth Arena
The Arnprior Packers took five wins out of six meetings against the Perth Blue Wings during the regular season.
October 29th: Arnprior 5, Perth 2
November 5th: Arnprior 4, Perth 2
December 1st: Perth 4, Arnprior 1
February 7th: Perth 3, Arnprior 2
February 19th: Arnprior 6, Perth 4
March 7th: Arnprior 3, Perth 2 (SO)
Perth’s Keys to Victory:
The Perth Blue Wings had another impressive season by going 28-12-2 and are still the defending Barkley Cup champs from the 2018-19 season, which was the last time that the EOJHL crowned a champion. Head Coach of the Perth Blue Wings Bryan Greer was very happy on how the season went.
“Jeff, Blake and I were extremely happy with the team results this season. The team really came together this season as most had not been together before this long layoff. We have a great mix of youth and experience on our team this year with only three 20 year olds.”
Ben Langille was second in the EOJHL in scoring with 84 points, first in goals (34) and second in assists (51). Remember, Langille has one more year of junior hockey after this year is done. It wasn’t just Langille being a top scorer in the league this season, but he had to combine hockey and school at the same time.
“Benny had a great season for us this year. As a 19 year old, balancing a tough school schedule at Queens and hockey, he never missed anything all year. He brought a level of offense to our team we have not had here in years!” Said Greer on Ban Langille somehow balancing school and hockey.
Langille did not miss a single game during the regular season, which is very impressive. Perth also had some great depth on this season with Davidson (42 PTS), Kazda (36 PTS) and Harris (17 PTS), who are the 20 year old’s this season. Harris was picked up and was put on the roster when the shut down was happening in January. The other players that had impactful seasons were Salter, Anderson, Mierau and Johnston. The defense was impressive as well with James, Kealey and Howarth by each collect 20+ points during the season.
“As a coaching staff we have been preaching, we need all 23 players and both goalies to be firing to defend our Barkley Cup.” said Greer.
Matthew Maas was went 15-3 during 21 games, with four shutouts, which is tied for first overall in the EOJHL, he had a 2.46 GAA / .919 SV%. The other was Anton Moshchensky, who was acquired in a trade with Richmond in exchanged with Gabriel Arrigo before the trade deadline. In total, Moshchensky went 7-11-1 in 19 games, to go along with a 4.17 GAA / .886 SV%.
Greer comments on the keys to a series win over Arnprior.
“Our key to the series will be discipline, both teams can hurt each other in special teams. It will come down to that battle for the series.”
Perth’s power play was first in the EOJHL by going 24.9%, while their penalty kill was 8th at 82.6%.
Arnprior Keys to Victory:
The Arnprior Packers are coming off a hard fought wild card series win over the Whitewater Kings, who put a great fight, in the end, Arnprior came out on top when they were needed at most. General Manager Matt Couvrette gave big praises to the Whitewater Kings.
“Whitewater played their hearts out and it was a great back and forth series. We are excited to be moving on, but we know there’s a lot of work ahead of us.”
Neil Duncan got the series off to a great start by scoring a hat trick, which included the double OT winner to give the Packers a win in game one. It was the only time that Duncan would get points in the first game. The other players on Arnprior, provided lots of depth scoring in game two, especially in game three when it counted.
“Duncan has done the same thing throughout his whole career with the Packers and we were not shocked to have him be the guy to step up in game one. We had a number of players contribute to the wins and our depth will continue to be a big part moving forward,” said Couvrette on Duncan’s hat trick in game one and the team depth.
Dylan Tammadge, who scored two goals in game three, had three goals throughout the series. Other players that stepped up were Jake Duhn (4 PTS), Dylan Kuehl, Alec Brazeau, Samuel Fortier and many more, who got on the score sheet in that series. Another big part in the series, was the goaltending from Jett Miller, who had to bounce back after allowing three goals in a loss in game two and got the performance that he need to get his team to the Division Semi-Finals.
“Jett Miller was fantastic in game three with a number of huge saves. Our defence allowed him to see the shots and clear the rebounds. Joel Ryan has been an incredible bright spot in these playoffs and is playing like he wants to bring a championship back to his hometown of Arnprior,” said Couvrette on Miller’s performance and Ryan’s great defense throughout the series.
Joel Ryan was terrific in the series against Whitewater. Ryan had seven assists in 36 games on the back end throughout the season. His role on the team is to be a shut down defense and he has done that so far in these playoffs. Couvrette comments on keys to victory versus Perth.
“Keeping it simple will be key. Limiting their high end skill and capitalizing on our chances will give us a chance on winning this series. Staying out of the penalty box will be a big key as Perth has a great power play.”
Arnprior won the special teams battle over Whitewater throughout the series by going 4-for-14 on the power play and 13-for-14 on the penalty kill.
Special teams is once again going to be a big factor if either Perth or Arnprior get into penalty trouble. Goaltending and defense will still be key in able to win this series. Arnprior won the season series, but it doesn’t mean that Perth isn’t the better team, it’s who can be the better team in this short five game series.