GRIMSBY (Apr. 8) — Jayden Julien’s overtime goal at 8:57 gave the Grimsby Peach Kings a 4-3 triumph and spoiled a spirited comeback by the Glanbrook Rangers, who suffered their first loss in the Bloomfield Division Final series. The Rangers lead the Peach Kings 2 games to 1, with Game 4 slated for Sunday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m.
The Rangers dramatically tied the game on Cooper Hood’s goal with a mere 15 seconds remaining in the third period.
“We knew this wasn’t going to be a quick series,” said Rangers’ coach Andrew Tait. “I still feel we are in a good position and we’ll treat every game as a must-win.”
The game was pretty much a clone of the previous meetings in the series … tight-checking and back-and-forth, although Tait said, “I thought we came out of the gates slowly. We played a little more laid back than I would have liked. Even though we were able to get on the board first, we sat back and let them take the play to us.”
Sean Golebiowski opened the scoring for the Rangers just four minutes into the first stanza, but Grimsby’s Freddy Teeple evened it up at 18:52. After a scoreless second period, Caleb Shorthouse struck at 25 seconds of the third to put the Peach Kings on top. The two teams traded goals — Glanbrook’s Joel Wallace scored at 1:56, followed by Grimsby’s Ben Switzer at 12:29 to re-establish the Peach Kings’ one-goal margin.
Until Hood’s heroics: The Rangers’ winger capitalized on a Grimsby penalty to send the game into extra time with seconds to spare. But Glanbrook was unable immediately to exploit the momentum in the overtime and when Golebiowski was assessed a tripping penalty at the 7:15 mark, it opened the door for Grimsby. The Rangers penalty killing has been one of their most reliable weapons in the post-season and they very nearly escaped the threat this time: Julien scored with just 18 seconds to go in the penalty.
But despite the setback, the Rangers hope to carry their accomplishment through to Game 4.
“The boys battled hard all night,” said Tait. “The fact that we were able to tie the game late was a huge momentum boost. Unfortunately, in OT it wasn’t meant to be, but we’ll ride the momentum into Sunday night and rely on our crowd to give us the spark.”
NOTES: Ethan Cook suffered his first loss after four consecutive victories. He faced 38 shots, including nine in the overtime.