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Empire champion Pirates take on Lakefield in Schmalz Cup quarter finals

Pirates-Empire-B-champs-2013The Picton Pirates are back on top of the Empire. They toppled the Port Hope Panthers Thursday in game five of the Empire B finals at Prince Edward Community Centre  7-0 to win the best-of-seven series 4-1.

Pirates General Manager and Head Coach Ryan Woodward couldn’t be more proud of his players.

“Our players have worked so hard all season to achieve this goal.  The effort tonight from the net out was outstanding,” he said. “The Pirates were determined to close the series and clinch their second Empire B Championship in the last three seasons at home. Our players were motivated and hungry.  They wanted to win it in front of our fans in our building.  This is a special group of guys, my staff and I couldn’t be more proud of each of them.”

The Pirates won their last 19 straight games of the regular season, and then won seven in a row in the playoffs before dropping a 6-5 decision in game 4 of the final to Port Hope last Sunday.  On Thursday night, the Pirates would put together their most complete performance of the season.

A quick start was part of the game plan for the patch eyes and at 1:40 of the first period Levi George buried a pass from Brandon Peever to open the scoring.  At 10:04 the Pirates extended their lead to two when forward Tyler Kearns scored his 9th goal of the playoffs on the power-play.  Brian Bunnett and Cole Bolton had the assists.

In a tightly contested middle frame, it was the Pirates veteran defenceman Wil Healey scoring the lone goal.  At 10:04, Healey jumped into the odd man rush and finished off a pass from Bunnett to give the Pirates a three goal lead heading into the second intermission.

In the third, the Pirates sealed the deal with four more goals.  Brian Bunnett scored at 1:18 from Geoff Cleminson and Ryan Sizer.  Cole Bolton and Ryan Sizer added back-to-back power-play goals at 5:40 and 12:23 to extend the lead to six.  Kearns, Bunnett, Jack Davison and Mitchell Smith had the assists on the goals.  Forward Evan Greer added a shorthanded goal at 16:36 to finish off the scoring for the patch eyes.  Goaltender Adam Wood was outstanding in net and made 27 saves for the shutout and win.

Woodward said he was happy for the fans, volunteers and executive.

“There are so many people behind the scenes that put in countless hours of hard work.  Without them we wouldn’t be here.”

The Pirates advance to the Provincial Quarter-Final round of the Schmalz Cup and will battle the Lakefield Chiefs.  Lakefield clinched the Central Championship Friday night over the Uxbridge Bruins.  Game one of the series will be played on Tuesday March 19th in Lakefield at 7:30pm.  Game two will be played at Prince Edward Community Centre on Thursday March 21st at 7:30pm.

“Lakefield are hard-working tenacious hockey club,” said Woodward. “We have already started to prepare and we are looking forward to representing the Empire in the Schmalz Cup.”

The following is the complete schedule for the Provincial Quarter-Final round:

G1: Tuesday March 19th, 2013 at 7:30pm @Lakefield
G2: Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 7:30pm @Picton
G3: Sunday March 24th, 2013 at 4:00pm @Lakefield
G4: Tuesday March 26th, 2013 at 7:30pm @Picton
*G5: Thursday March 28th, 2013 at 7:30pm @Lakefield *if necessary
*G6: Saturday March 30th, 2013 at 7:30pm @Picton *if necessary
*G7: Monday April 1st, 2013 at 7:30pm @Lakefield *if necessary

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