Hornets win GMOHL championship
The Alliston Hornets captured the Georgian Mid Ontario Hockey League Junior C championship on Friday, March 9, capping a final series against the Stayner Siskins with a four game sweep ending in a 6-1 win in game four.
The final series came as a surprise to both teams and fans as no one expected the Stayner squad to go down win-less in the series.
The Siskins had a stellar year ending the regular season in first place then sweeping both their quarterfinal and semi-final series before meeting up with Alliston in the final.
The Hornets had a mid season slump losing eight games - but that was when a series of injuries had many key players sitting out. By the time the playoffs rolled around the Hornets had a full bench and unleashed some impressive firepower against the Stayner squad.
The Hornets were led by right winger Mike Campeau who notched 30 points over 13 playoff games, and centre, Randy Cox who rang the bell 29 times with 11 goals and 18 assists - good for 29 points.
Together with a solid defence, the Hornets took control of the series starting in game two when it seemed the Siskins were having trouble - especially in the third period when they barely got a stick on the puck.
It is the fifth consecutive League championship for the Hornets - a feat no other team has accomplished in the GMHOL.
The success of the team has led to two provincial Junior C Schmalz Cup championships - the first in 2008 and a second in 2010.
They went to the final in 2009, but lost to the Essex 73’s, and again last year were they battled their way through two other leagues to enter the final against the Grimsby Peach Kings but came up short and Grimsby left with the cup.
They still have a tough battle ahead of them on the road to the provincial final with the first stop being a series against the Walkerton Hawks of the of the Western Ontario Junior C Hockey League.
The Hornets have met Walkerton four times over the past four seasons and have come out on top every time.
The squad doesn’t lack confidence going into the next round and they can back it up with the way they played in the GMOHL final.
“The way things are going, this is our year to take it (Schmalz cup) again,” said Mike Campeau after Friday’s win. “The best thing we’ve got going for us is we play as a unit.”
Hornets head coach Sandy McCarthy took over the top spot on the bench this season. A former NHL pro, Mc- Carthy steered the squad to the victory and says a veteran bench will help the team going though the next few rounds.
“We were playing game by game,” he said of the GMOHL final series. “I thought we played four really good games and we deserved everything we got. We all want to win, that’s why we’re playing. Experience always helps and we’ve got guys who have been through this before.”
The quarter-final series between the Alliston Hornets and the Walkerton Hawks will get underway on Sunday, March 18, in Alliston.
Game time is 6:30 p.m.